Drinking Like the Boys

drinking-teens-at-partySarah ran out the door with the vodka jammed in her bag, hoping not to be seen by her parents. All her extra cash had gone to buy the booze, mostly because she hated feeling left out.

Everyone else seemed to be partying. Now she thought, it’s time to join them. Sarah would drink with the boys tonight!

She would finally be in the spotlight too, competing with the guys, shot-for-shot. …..but was it really worth it?

Teen girls now drink as much as the boys — lured to consume in part by advertising that targets young women — and it’s putting their health at risk, Dr. Ken Flegel, a McGill University professor, wrote in a CMAJ article. He is calling for warning labels on booze that are just as graphic as those on cigarette packages. Dr. Flegel calls for links to be visually evident between alcohol and a variety of health risks — including breast, stomach, throat and digestive tract cancers.

Dr. Gerald Thomas, senior researcher for the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, has done extensive research on youth and drinking habits. He says while he understands young women exploring freedom of choice, “I don’t think it should mean women should drink like men to prove they’re equal.”

Carolyn RN

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