As a counselor for both in-class and online Minor in Possession Classes I have noticed a huge surge in the number of youngsters – those under the age of 25 – attending my classes as well as going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
A perfect example was the tall and lithe, 23-year-old Suzanne — once known to her University of Kansas sorority sisters as “Boozin’ Susan”. When I met her she was carrying a load of folding for an AA meeting.
Ten young people amble in and, over the next hour, tell why they’re here.
“Hi, I’m Claire, and I’m an alcoholic.” Age 23.
“Hi, I’m Matt, and I’m an alcoholic.” Age 25.
“Hi, I’m Jean, and I’m an alcoholic and an addict.” Age 17. She first got drunk on vodka when she was 8.
There is Stephanie, 20, and two seats away a 19-year-old addict fresh to sobriety. There are Mike and Will, both under 26.
Two sorority girls. A couple of athletes. Gen-Y’ers, children of affluence and of poverty. One young man’s abstemious parents never raised a bottle. Others barely remember mom or dad without a drink or drug in hand.
At a time when binge drinking remains at epidemic levels, and as tens of thousands of high school and college students begin packing for spring break destinations where alcohol flows freely, thousands of other young people nationwide will flow into meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, having concluded that what they once thought was a rite of youth is an addiction.
Young people in their 20s and even late teens have been part of AA from some of its earliest years, not long after Bill Wilson founded the fellowship in 1935 on a 12-step approach.
A combination of Minor in Possession classes and AA meetings provide a strong background for someone to quit using and abusing alcohol. With drug and alcohol use more prevalent now than ever we must continue to ensure that our children take alcohol classes, that they are more than aware of not only the dangers of drinking at a young age, but also how susceptible they are to becoming addicted to alcohol!
From the Kansas City Star.