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Institutionalized alcoholic excess, a social problem

The consumption of alcohol by minors is a serious risk situation that must be faced by society as a whole, because it is everyone's problem, in which we all participate, and to the fullest extent.

Ignacio Calderón-February 19, 2018-Reading time: 3 minutes
Bottles of alcohol.

In view of the persistence of the alcohol consumption by adolescentsThe Fundación de Ayuda contra la Drogadicción wants to make public some reflections in which it appeals to the responsibility of all.

The consumption of alcohol, which has an undoubtedly presence in our culture and that is intimately integrated with our way of relating to each other, interacting and building our common space, it is also the source of multiple problems individual and collective. These problems are more numerous and serious than those caused by the use of psychoactive products and cannot be minimized, much less denied, on the basis of the cultural presence mentioned above.

One aspect in particular problematic The main reason for this coexistence with alcohol is the consumption by adolescents; because of the notable seriousness that alcohol intoxication represents for developing organisms, because of the difficulty in managing risks at this stage of development, and because of the importance that the consolidation of habits that will undermine a person's autonomy and safety can have for his or her future, both individually and socially.

This situation of serious risk has to be faced by society as a whole because is everyone's problem and in which we all participate. Adolescents are not subjects who function outside the common context; they are not people isolated from the social norm, alien to collective values. An exclusively vertical and unidirectional communication, whether with prohibitions, admonitions or reflections, is doomed to failure. Adolescents cannot be treated as segregated from the social body.

Necessary but insufficient measures

Maladjusted behaviors The behavior of adolescents does not necessarily respond to personal pathologies, much less to those of the group; nor are they only the product of the emotional ups and downs of this vital phase. In a more complex way, correlate with the habits of adults, with the dominant social values, with identity images, with the ideological and emotional dimension of the social context, with the space and the role that adult society grants to these boys and girls.

For these reasons, in an attempt to anticipate problems, regulatory and control measures (audits, inspections, prohibitions, penalties...) are necessary but insufficient. They are necessary because a complex society needs coercive rules that contribute to the protection of the common good and of the most vulnerable groups; and because, in addition, they have an educational and exemplary dimension. They are insufficient because, on their own, they do not take into account or intervene in all the above-mentioned dimensions.

The problem at hand must be addressed in its entirety. Institutionalized alcoholic excess is not acceptable; the denial of the need for communication and interaction, of adolescents' search for their own space; the disregard for the values that are transmitted, taught and exemplified.

Helping families

We therefore call for compliance with the rules, for protective vigilance, and for public administrations to fulfill their role.

We also ask that families be tutored and taught autonomy and responsibility, freedom and commitment; that schools be educated; that the media not cultivate ambiguity, simplistic moralizing or double messages; that society not institutionalize the festive alcoholic excess of adults while stigmatizing that of adolescents.

FAD is committed to this taskThe aim of the project is to: try to unveil the complexity of the reasons in order to better address the risks; try to help families to better fulfill their task with their children; try to improve the educational resources of teachers; try to support the development of a freer, more committed and solidary society and citizenship; try to contribute to the mobilization of wills in a common project.

That is our responsibility and our appeal to the responsibility of others. It is also up to you.

The authorIgnacio Calderón

Fundación de Ayuda contra la Drogadicción

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