There’s no doubt that young people are at an increased risk for drinking and using other substances; the college “drinking” culture, partying, socializing and celebrations can lead many young people towards the path of addiction before they realize what’s happening. Social media outlets, such as Instagram and Facebook, are more popular than they’ve ever been before. While this gives users the ability to interact with other people, it also increases their risk of vulnerability to the messages they’re receiving – especially young people.
A few years ago, CNN covered the story of alcohol ads and how they’re making kids more prone to drinking because of these commercials. A parent talked about their young girls who are 8 and 10 years old by stating, “They already know the names of several beers and we don’t drink beer and basically don’t drink much at all. Do I need any more proof of the power of advertising?”
At a time when teenagers are still developing their critical thinking skills, alcohol ads could not come at a more inconvenient time. According to The Guardian, an Australian study recently published found that teens who drink heavily and often believe that the alcohol ads appealing to their age group are because of the younger, “cooler” looking actors. While ads alone aren’t likely to cause a young person to go out and drink, it’s the mere fact that these advertisements are planting a seed of thought or reinforcing that thought, through depictions of having fun while drinking. What can we do about this?
We can take a stand against alcohol advertisements, especially those geared to young people. We can also make sure that our teens are well educated on the persuasive effects of media messaging, so they know the tactics that are being used. In addition to that, we can stay increasingly active in our kids’ lives, giving them opportunities to talk openly about topics like drugs and alcohol so that accurate information is given. We can see help for ourselves if addiction is involved, so that we can show our children what it means to seek help. Lastly, we can guide our teens to treatment if they themselves are abusing substances.
Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.
Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.