Log in

From my Kitchen Table Miriam Kerins

  • Written by Roscommon People
  • Published in Lifestyle

It’s late at night, teens all over Ireland are hanging around with their mates, standing on street corners, sitting in fields or loitering under bridges with some as young as 12 experiencing their first taste of alcohol. Sobering thought, isn’t it!

  Well, that’s the story, because according to a recent, shocking survey carried out by the excellent Western Regional Drugs Task Force, some troubling new trends have emerged as research shows almost one in two 12-13 year olds in Roscommon town admitted to trying alcohol.

These statistics are staggering because it’s obvious, with alcohol being the drug du jour,

...

It’s late at night, teens all over Ireland are hanging around with their mates, standing on street corners, sitting in fields or loitering under bridges with some as young as 12 experiencing their first taste of alcohol. Sobering thought, isn’t it!

  Well, that’s the story, because according to a recent, shocking survey carried out by the excellent Western Regional Drugs Task Force, some troubling new trends have emerged as research shows almost one in two 12-13 year olds in Roscommon town admitted to trying alcohol.

These statistics are staggering because it’s obvious, with alcohol being the drug du jour, that an alarming number of pre and young teens are binge drinking; nay, guzzling it down at record rates. Mums and dads everywhere must be tearing their hair out in anguish.

  Now let’s face it we all enjoyed a bit of fun as teenagers and even though my own parents had a laid-back approach to alcohol, allowing us kids at age 15-16 have the odd glass of beer, (which I hated and I still cannot bear the bitter taste to this day), it wasn’t until I was 21 that I actually experienced my first taste of so-called hard liquor; a virginal Tia Maria and Coke…disgustingly sweet. 

  In fact I was in my late thirties when I became what I suppose you’d politely call a ‘social drinker,’ ahem, ok, a kinda, sorta, heavyish drinker. Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t sucking the alcohol out of a deodorant stick or anything like that but let’s just say Miriam’s best friends were Dr Smirnoff and Ernst and Julio Gallo for a little while. And why was that? I hear you ask. Well, because every Friday night myself and a group of journo colleagues would head to the local for the traditional just-the-one-ah-sure-let’s-stay-‘till-throwing-out-time drink! In those days, Dr Smirnoff made me think I was so darn sexy; I was always on the ‘phone to some important person, always in demand, tightly scheduled and scaling the cliffs of alcoholism.

  It’s the old clique thingy and I think that’s what is happening to these poor kids.

  You see being in a clique is like wearing a badge of honour or having a safety net for some people; a place where they belong. Somewhere they fit in. Now, while that feeling of fitting in can be a positive thing, in this instance, it’s not, it’s negative and the above statistics are a powerful reminder of that.

  These delusional teens don’t realise they are harming themselves, allowing themselves to be held back from making better choices and developing more positive opportunities. And it’s not just the kids who are suffering –  spare a thought for their parents because they must be going through an unfathomable, paralysing sense of sadness having to witness their drink-addled babies going through withdrawal, experiencing depression, self-loathing, anxiety and under-performing at school.

  As a mum, when my own two were in their mid-teens, I admit to being just a tad lenient when it came to alcohol, allowing them indulge in the odd can of Budweiser whilst sitting at home, in the safety of our living room with their dad and me supervising, watching a DVD and enjoying a take-away meal. Was I correct or was that bad parenting? I don’t know; I was winging it, because that’s what you do. When you have a baby, a ‘how to,’ perfect parenting manual doesn’t fall from the sky, you know. And, while I’m far from being an eyelash-fluttering, cake-baking Carol Brady, I will say this…I have never once had to clean up a drop of their alcohol-induced vomit nor have I ever witnessed them drunk.

  Maybe I’m being a bit smug, I don’t mean to be, but today, I count my blessings, because thank God, both my girlies are well adjusted, self-sustaining, responsible adults and I burst with pride every time I look at them.

Roscommon People
Issue: 2nd November 2012


Read more http://roscommonpeople.ie/itemdetail.asp?itemID=20479

Login to post comments