Drinking may shorten teens’ lives Irish adolescent girls have one of the highest levels of binge drinking in the world, according to a global study revealed in The Lancet, a respected medical journal.
The concern must be not just the over-consumption of alcohol but the inherent danger that early and prolonged drinking does for the life expectancy of today’s youth.
We have a damaging relationship with alcohol in this country. It is part of everything we do, from socialising with friends, attending cultural and sporting events, going to weddings or funerals, or lying on the couch at home, watching television with a glass in hand. It is also part of our literary culture.
From James Joyce to Brendan Behan, the dedication to heavy drinking is seen as a celebration of what it means to be Irish.
The tragedy is that teenage girls, like their male counterparts, feel compelled to embrace that drinking culture in order to enjoy the so-called craic.
This can lead to all sorts of complications, from drunken, unprotected sex, to diabetes, depression, liver disease, and suicide.
Past generations didn’t generally drink alcohol until they were in their late 20s and could afford it.
Nowadays, younger teenagers are indulging, leading to a longer period of heavy drinking. That could mean that the life expectancy of younger people will not match that of their parents. That’s a sobering thought.