Reports from various research departments in the United States of America and across the globe reveal that youths below the age of twenty five years are the most vulnerable population age group regarding underage drinking. It has been discovered that underage drinking has found its way among young people in the rest passed with many cases being reported in learning institutions. This trend continues to threaten the quality of education in many nations because of the negative effects associated with the vice, raising the need for an anti-drinking campaign (NIAAA, 2006).
Rockland Business College has drawn both local and international attention in the United States. With a population of over five thousand students, an institution which started with a sole objective purpose of empowering young people with business skills has turned into a drinking spree. Rockland Business College registers both male and female students for diploma courses in business related courses and has been operation for the last five ten years. The college has a reputation for being a party school notorious for underage drinking, being ranked first in the United with regard to the vice. Although the idea of salvaging the college and restoration of its original reputation has been given top priority, this has not been quite fruitful. Many youths from the college continue being registered as college dropouts on a daily basis. An anti-drinking is therefore of paramount importance in dealing with underage drinking in Rockland Business College. It should be noted that underage drinking has never recorded a single advantage in human history. Therefore the anti-drinking campaign is the initial and basic step towards this war without which no learning institution can achieve its objective. According to NIAAA, both formulation and implementation of this campaign has to be a collective responsibility to ensure the future of young people is rescued from this scourge.
Effects of underage drinking
Underage drinking has greatly affected the life of Rockland Business College. These effects vary from social to medical through psychological. It is also worthy noting that underage drinking has negatively affected the academic performance of many students not only in Rockland Business College but in every institution in the United States and across the globe. As a key strategy of dealing with the issue, parents and the college board of directors need to closely work together in ensuring that alcohol does not swallow this prestigious institution which used to enjoy both academic and discipline reputation a few years ago. Although it is demanding to carry out the anti-drinking campaign, its ultimate success has no single regret and achieving this target would be a lifetime achievement in the history of the college.
An understanding of the effects of underage drinking is very crucial in eradicating this mischievous behavior in any institution, with research showing no single advantage. As noted by Bonnie, O’Connell and National Research Council (U.S.). Committee (2004), underage drinking is extremely dangerous and should be dealt with without a second thought. According to the research, underage drinking has numerous effects some of which are both short term and long term. It is further noted that alcohol consumption is a major cause of poor performance in most learning institutions with most of the affected students ending up to the ditch of frustrations. Since studying requires maximum attention and concentration, most drinking students find it difficult to cope with the learning environment due to missing of lessons, unable to meet assignment and lack of interest.
The 2004 research also underscores the fact that healthy development of young people is also affected by underage drinking. Since many young undergo various growth and development stages, many of these processes are likely to be disrupted at the onset of alcohol consumption. As a result, dangers of underage drinking are highly magnified compared to adult drinking. There are other mental problems associated with underage drinking apart from disrupted brain development. Research shows that most of the mental diseases which affect young people are as a result of underage drinking. Since the mind determines the character of an individual, mental disturbances directly affects the identity and behavior of many students in colleges and other higher learning institutions. Rockland Business College management should therefore routine mental check up of students to single out affected ones.
Bonnie, O’Connell and National Research Council (U.S.) Committee note that underage drinking significantly affects the capacity of an individual in making sound decisions. As a result, many young people who age in alcohol drinking are likely to be involved in risky behaviors resulting from poor decisions and assumptions. Since most of the affected children see themselves as heroes, they act without a second thought and believe that they are always right even when plainly one can observe their mess. Many end up meeting unintentional death through road accidents and other activities like violence, suicide attempts, vandalism and unhealthy sexual behavior. According to the survey, these risky behaviors are very common among those youth who start drinking at a tender age. It amazing to note that almost 11% of all the alcohol consumed in the United States is taken by young people below the age of twenty years (Bonnie, O’Connell & National Research Council (U.S.) Committee, 2004). Many emergency rooms in hospitals register higher numbers of youths from accident injuries due careless driving caused by alcohol.
The most shocking statistical finding is that over 5,000 young people below the age of 21 die in the U.S die annually including 1,900 from road accidents, 1,600 from homicides plus hundreds which result from drowning, suicide and burns. Many surveys also indicate many young people and especially students in high get involved in drinking at a very tender age. Unlike many adults involved in drinking, young people have a higher tendency of heavy and intensive drinking resulting into instant fatal effects. This early exposure to alcohol may lead to future alcohol dependency syndrome.
Another major effect of underage drinking is the risk of young being involved in risky-sexual behavior. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, NIAAA, (2006), more than 70,000 young people between the age of 18 and 24 become victims of alcohol-related sexual activities. The survey shows many students in colleges get involved in unprotected sexual behaviors under the influence that during sober. Results for these remain fatal including but not limited to unwanted pregnancies leading to dropping out from school, the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections. Students therefore need to be informed of the sexual risks related to alcohol taking and through relevant education (NIAAA, 2006).
Underage drinking prevention
Although underage drinking is fatal, it is important for the board of directors to note that this behavior is preventable if necessary measures are put in place before it is late. As noted above, the fight against underage is a collective responsibility and not a one man’s affair. This implies that the Board of directors of Rockland Business College and the community have a role in dealing with the vice. There are several prevention programs which have succeeded both in the U.S and around the globe. Many of these prevention methods focus personal levels of students and the environment. They include raising the price of alcohol to make it unaffordable for young people, enacting laws that prohibit underage drinking and medical checkup (NIAAA, 2006). Rockland Business should also consider school-based prevention programs in dealing with the problem. Students should be equipped with relevant information concerning risks associated with the use of alcohol. Additionally, members of the board of directors should consider instilling morality among students. Students should be discouraged from being influenced by their peers. The board has to incorporate parents in dealing with underage drinking; parents should be encouraged to monitor the behavior of their children.
Successful prevention programs
The Massachusetts Saving Lives Program is an example of preventive program that has succeeded in the fight against underage drinking. This included the use of driving check-points to monitor drinking among drivers. The Program also initiated peer-education in high schools and running of preventive programs in colleges and in universities. The program led to a drop in the number alcohol related accidents and crashes among young drivers. Other programs include but not limited toThe Community Prevention Trial Program and Multicomponent Comprehensive Interventions which have massively helped in dealing with underage drinking (NIAAA, 2006).
Based on fatal consequences of underage drinking, it is highly recommended that Rockland Business College adopts the anti-drinking program in dealing this vice which has negatively affected the institutions. There is no doubt that if the program is implemented, Rockland Business College will regain its original reputation in terms of discipline and academic performance.