On Thursday, May 10th, at Bengough School, Sun Country Health Region Youth Addictions Counselor Martina Matthewson gave a presentation on the hazards of alcohol and binge drinking. Recovering alcoholic Jerry Coubrough shared some of the experiences he had with his abuse of alcohol. The two presentations were split up between the Grades 9/10 and 11/12.
In Martina’s presentation she pointed out some of the risks and hazards of teenage alcohol abuse. The risks include alcohol poisoning, pregnancy, rape and death. One very disturbing fact is that 50% of all teenage car accident deaths are alcohol related. Saskatchewan has the highest use and abuse of alcohol among teenagers as they drink twice as much and twice as often as an adult. Teenage drinking can start as early as 12 – 14 years old .The problem with this is that the human brain is not fully developed until the age of 25. Most alcoholics and problem drinkers start abusing alcohol at this early age.
One drink is considered to be one ounce of hard liquor, one beer and a small glass of wine. Low risk drinking for males is two drinks per day and females one. Binge drinking is considered five or more drinks in a day for male and four for females. Some times people under estimate how much they do drink. (For example, Jerry would say he only had two beer and Annette knew he had a half a dozen or more.) If for instance you say you only had four drinks out of a mickey in reality you have actually had thirteen drinks.
In Jerry’s presentation he read the story to the students that he had written about an early drinking experience. This is what he read.
“My sister’s wedding, the I do’s I don’t remember, the aloneness I feel amidst the crowd of people I do remember.
Dirt excavated from a basement piled high behind our house where I sat. A warm dimly lit night, a bottle of wine and I discovered a potion that takes me away from all reality and pain and its pleasure flows through ever vein in my body and gives to me what I have always lacked – confidence and a feeling of I am okay. This I learned from days and nights before this night and I am only 12 years old.”
For more information on Youth Addiction Services and help that is available please visit the Sun Country Health Region website at: http://www.suncountry.sk.ca/service/7/88/programs-and-services-directory.html.