In the past few years, various types of research have been done on the new and arising issue of drinking of young adult in New Zealand. This hazardous drinking, mainly apparent among the youths who are mostly young adult students in New Zealand is a public-health concern. The issue has raised a lot of questions and a need to look into the matter of discipline among these students. Too often daily headlines bring news of another tragedy of a young adult involved in alcohol-related behavior, either a case of excessive alcoholic poisoning on the campus or as a result of recklessness and other bad behavior leading to the tragedies.
Alcohol-related attitudes are affected by the social view of a certain country, region, or any other kind of social organization.
There are many factors that influence the use of alcohol among the young students and youths. These factors can even depend the gender of the individual. For instance, men are much more likely to drink in more dangerous and harmful ways than women can. This is clearly stipulated by many surveys that research on the drinking behaviors among people. Also, the race of the individual is another factor that can define the drinking habits of people. This is due to the different cultures and alcohol related problems that vary. Employment also matters a lot in determining the drinking habit of an individual. The employed individuals have the capability of purchasing alcohol than the un-employed individuals. Another factor that determines the alcohol consumption is peer influences. Most young adults seem to be compelled by others to get involved in drinking behaviors. This is due to the fact that some may view the habit as cool, and for those who are left out, they may seem to be losing out.
In New Zealand, immediately after the drinking age was lowered from 20 to 18, various kinds research were done among the young adults. Participants reported drinking smaller quantities of alcohol three months after, compared immediately before the new drinking age went into effect. (Kylie, B., Kumari, F., & Jamin, H., 2003). The attitude change reflected in the lowering of the alcohol consumption age in New Zealand shows the social view of Alcohol consumption which was strongly predicted by attitudes toward the social aspects of drinking, but no attitude change over time was observed on any attitudinal dimension. The expected results after the lowering of the drinking age expected afterwards therefore were not met in any way before and after. This directly indicates no social change or discipline of the young adults despite the measures taken.
In New Zealand, there is a general feature of university students which may differ from other regions or countries. There is generally a low proportion of students who abstain from alcohol. The obvious suggestion that may come into mind when a non-drinker is encountered in many occasions is the view of a relative outsider. Regardless, alcohol is the drug of choice among youth. (Stanley L. Englebardt, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1975). The author here suggests that the behavior is chosen by the young adults through their own willingness and at liberty. Nevertheless, it is understood that also peer pressure can also lead to many young adults to engage into drug intake and also the environment that surrounds them. For instance, the youth who are invited to drink by their own parents many a time develop a drinking habit and the view of alcohol as a usual essence in social aspects.
The consumption of alcohol among young adults determines their discipline directly. The fact that alcohol is a stimulating drug can explain miles of the result of consuming alcohol. The behavior that is expected from a normal person who is sober is very different from what you can expect from another person who is under the influence of alcohol. For instance, when a person intakes too much alcohol, the body reactions tend to function in a more relaxed state. This leads to the individual to be in a state of relaxation and consequently behaves inappropriately more comfortably than how he/she would normally do. Although basically a sedative, alcohol seems to act temporarily as a stimulant for many youths after they first start drinking. This is because alcohol’s initial effects are on the parts of the brain that affect learned behavior. (David A., Ann C., 1983). This means that alcohol acts directly to the brain and the resulting behavior is affected directly from the brain itself.
There have been several studies conducted on the health short-term and long-term effects of use of alcohol among adults. Long-term effects include the damage of liver, pancreatitis, and certain cancers. The use of alcohol is the second leading cause of dementia; one simple ages quicker on alcohol. Today, many professionals are worried about the amazing steady increase in teen alcohol abuse and the many possible by far mostly negative health effects. In the article “Alcohol and Young People”, there is a general rise in the consumption of alcohol by teens regularly in proportion to the amount they are drinking in each occasion. The increase shows the real challenge facing the adolescents in the recent times.
During adolescence, there is a transition period when the body undergoes many significant changes ranging from hormonal alterations to brain development. It is also a time when young people start to be associated more and more with friends and associates beyond their childhood contacts. They have a feeling of increased pressure to ‘fit in’ or ‘go alongside with the crowd’ in order to be socially accepted. These new circumstances pose a real challenge and can be confusing for the youth to understand and appropriately deal with. Often, the ability to make correct and safe decisions also is at a immaturity stag. Exposing the brain to alcohol during this period may interrupt key processes of brain development, possibly leading to mild cognitive impairment as well as to a further escalation of drinking.
Alcohol is absorbed rapidly into the blood from the stomach lining, in a very short time as at 5 to 10 minutes. Its effects last for a long time, mostly several hours depending on the amount taken and the speed at which it was consumed. Females absorb alcohol quicker than males and this is because their bodies contain less water. The water dilutes all the alcohol and so the same kind of amount of alcohol produces a higher concentration in the blood. After consuming only 2 to 3 normal strength beers, or 4 or 5 standard wine glasses, most people feel less inhibited and more relaxed. Anything consumed after this kind of amount most people slur their speech, become less coordinated and very clumsy. Some people have increased emotional reactions. More alcohol could many a time result in staggering, double vision, and loss of balance, nausea and an impression of the spinning.
According to the information issued from the government of the United States, in a publication entitled Prevention Alert, the teen alcohol abuse showed many negative side effects. “Subtle alcohol-induced adolescent learning impairments could affect academic and occupational achievement. In one study short-term memory skills were evaluated in an alcohol-dependent and non-dependent adolescents aged 15 and 16. The alcohol-dependent student had much more difficulty remembering words, simple geometric designs after a 10-minute interval. In this and many other similar studies, memory problems were most common among adolescents in treatment who have experienced alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The emergence of these withdrawal symptoms generally indicates a pattern of established pattern heavy drinking. Their appearance at a tender age underscores the essence for early intervention so as to prevent and treat underage drinking. Early alcohol abuse may have lasting consequences. People who begin drinking before the age 15 are usually four times more likely to develop the alcohol dependence at a later time in their lives compared to those who have their first drink at age 20 or even older. It is not clear on whether starting to drink at such early ages can actually cause alcoholism. Environmental factors are also at times involved, especially in alcoholic families, where children start drinking earlier because of the eased access to alcoholic beverages at home, family acceptance of drinking alcohol and lack of parental monitoring.
Aside from the basic fact that underage drinking is illegal, it also poses a high risk to the individual and also to the society. Some of the consequences of teen alcohol abuse are clearly seen in the discipline and behavioral change among the teens. For instance, drinking and driving results to motor vehicle crashes which are one of the leading causes of death among youth ages 15 to 20. The rate of fatal crashes among alcohol-involved drivers between 16 and 20 years old is more than twice the rate for alcohol-involved drivers 21 and older.
Many times, youth who abuse alcohol at an early age have problems resulting from their nervous system affected by alcohol. This leads to suicidal tendencies with which is caused by alcohol use. Alcohol use interacts with conditions like depression and stress and contributes to suicide. This is the third leading cause of death among young people who are between the ages of 14 and 25. In a study, 37 percent of eighth grade females who drank heavily have been reported attempting suicide, compared with the 11 percent who did not drink.
Alcohol consumption at a tender age also contributes to sexual assault. Sexual assault, including rape, occurs most of the times and commonly among women in late adolescence age and also at early adulthood, many a time within the context of a date. In a survey, approximately 10 percent of the female high school students were reported having been raped. Research suggests that alcohol abuse by the offender or the victim or even both of them; increase the chances of sexual assault by the male acquaintance.
Research has associated many a time adolescent alcohol use with high-risk sex, for instance, the act of multiple partners or also unprotected sex. The resulting consequences of high-risk sex are common in the youth or young adult age, particularly unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. According to a recent study, the common link between high-risk sex and alcohol drinking is affected by the quantity consumed. The probability of sexual intercourse to occur is increased by the act of drinking the amounts of alcohol that are sufficient to impair judgment. Though most of the college drinkers would not admit, young people can die solely from drinking alcohol. Many researchers have shown that a huge number of youths die from alcohol poisoning mainly while at college.
Many of these researches made by various kinds of people lead to a conclusion that the discipline of the young adults is highly affected by their drinking habits. As much as this is a fact, there are also other factors that contribute to inappropriate behavior among young adults and the main one being one’s personal choice. It is obvious that every individual does what they think is right for them and their discipline is portrayed by the principals that they have put to guide them in their lives.
Brownfield, K., Kumari, F., and Jamin H., (2003) Indirect effects of lowering the drinking age on new Zealand students alcohol related behaviours and attitudes: New Zealand, Journal of Psychology.
Stanley L. Englebardt, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, (1975) Kids and alcohol, the deadliest drug: NZ, Psychology.
David, A. , Ann, C., Sabatino F., Lester (1983) Discipline and behavioural management: NZ Mann Aspen Systems Corp.
P. Shcade (2006) The complete encyclopedia of medicine and health: NZ, Foreign media.
Michael, E., (1990) Alcohol and the brain: NZ, Alcohol health and research world.