Drinking and teenagers go together like a hole in the head. Seriously, there's nothing good that comes of this behavior. Although many parents may recall drinking incidents as teens and may write them off to typical adolescent or coming-of-age behavior, it's important to understand that many teens of today are binge drinking—drinking with the sole purpose of getting drunk as fast as possible. The potential consequences of this should cause any caring parent's heart to shrink with fear.
Which methods are kids using to get drunk as fast as possible? The answers will shock you. Yesterday, my 19-year old son (who does not drink) told me that he's heard some "stupid stories" (his words, not mine) about teenage girls getting a quick buzz by soaking tampons in vodka and then inserting them which their mucous membranes suck straight into the bloodstream: there is no barrier to slow down immediate absorption. Apparently, boys do the same thing but insert a vodka-soaked tampon into the rectum. (Imagine the burn, let alone the potential for alcohol poisoning.)
Here's a news story about drinking and teenagers and the many ways they are ingesting alcohol these days, bypassing the protective mechanisms of digestion and getting it directly into the bloodstream:
Other kids are soaking gummy bears in grain alcohol and then taking them
to school, so they can be high on campus. I've heard of kids taking in
alcohol through their eyeballs … they simply hold a shot glass to their
eye and tip their heads back. Of course, the alcohol burns and no doubt
damages the retina over time. As a parent, these tactics are horrifying
to me, especially since I know that these teens are getting in cars
provided by well-meaning, but unwitting parents and sharing the road
with my two teenage boys.
Here's a how-to video on making vodka-infused gummy worms that your teen may have already seen on YouTube: (it's so important to be aware of the ideas that your kids are being exposed to on the internet. Realize that the signs of teenage drinking may not always be apparent.)
The question that we really have to ask ourselves about drinking and
teenagers is why do our kids feel the need to go to such extremes to
escape their lives? It's one thing to have a drink to relax (if you're
an adult) and quite another to drink with the sole purpose of getting
drunk. What are these kids searching for? Why does being
stupid-fall-down drunk feel better than leading a good life and making
healthy choices? Why are kids seeking to anesthetize and destroy their
brains at the very time when the executive long term decision-making
capabilities are developing in their brains? Every time I hear of
another kid killed in a drunk driving accident, it hurts my heart.
Another life lost … another potential genius down the drain.
How can we lure our kids away from drugs and alcohol and get them to engage in life? To see their own life as a legend in the making that is created with every choice they make? How can we draw out the beauty in our kids so they can stand confidently in their own light? How we raise them to be relaxed, connected and uninhibited so they know who they are and are unafraid to show their true selves to the world without any need to get inebriated to express unexpressed parts of themselves?
I have outlined ideas and practices about how to keep kids aligned with their center that I lay out in my parenting book, Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting. Although the book was originally written for parents of younger children, my teenage boys who are 19 and 16 and do not drink or do drugs are evidence that these practices work.
My purpose here is to write a series of articles and ultimately, a
program for parents to keep their kids away from drugs or wean them off
drugs if they're using them. What I'd like to do first is start a
conversation and invite you to share stories from your family
(anonymously if you'd like) and even your own struggles with drinking as
a teen, the problems it created and what it took to actually turn you
or your teen around if, in fact, you were able to. Share your stories
about drinking and teenagers below. Share this article to your favorite
social media site and get others to participate in the conversation so
together, we can come up with real solutions. Make sure to sign up for
my newsletter so you will be notified as soon as a new article in the
series is published.
For now, be aware that kids are finding clever and very dangerous new ways of ingesting alcohol with the barriers created by ingesting it by mouth (such as the gag reflex, vomiting due to alcohol poisoning and stomach acid breaking down some of the alcohol before it gets into the bloodstream). If your child appears to be drunk, but you've never actually seen him or her drinking, investigate these new methods as possibilities. If you ever have to take your child to emergency due to alcohol poisoning, make sure to understand that the signs of teenage drinking may not be what you think and ask first responders to check for the possibility of vodka-soaked tampons in the vagina or rectum.
If your child does have a problem with alcohol, drugs or defiance, get help now with a behavioral change program that you can use at home.
Copyright © by Laura Ramirez. All rights reserved.
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