It is a major aspect of our culture and many others, being used in religious ceremonies, for celebration, and during common socialization, its presence is seen everywhere. It is alcohol. Alcohol is the broad term that society gives to such drinks as wine, beer, and hard liquor because it contains ethyl alcohol.
Despite the fact that in the past century alone, alcohol has been denounced, accepted, and outlawed, we still see alcohol everywhere in magazines, television, billboards, and The effects of alcohol are numerous and reach a widespread of people in the following ways: drunk driving accidents, fetal alcohol syndrome, liver disease, and increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, also called the NIAAA, state in their article called Alcohol Alert that, Alcohol contributes to 100,000 deaths annually, making it the third leading cause of preventable casualty (2).
In addition, Gary Hopkins,MD, director of The Center for Adolescent Behavior Research at Andrews University, found that41% of all traffic fatalities, the leading cause of accidental death, are alcohol-related (n. p. ). Alcohol is a significant problem in today’s society, it isnt limited to any particular age group, but one age group of great concern is those that are under twenty-one years. The Century Council is a group started in 1991 to fight underage drinking and alcohol abuse.
According to Fighting Alcohol Abuse, the Century Councils website, most young people do not drink illegally, the number who do is high enough to make underage drinking a serious safety and health concern(n. p. ). The Century Council continues with sixth graders in saying, one in fourteen sixth graders drink monthly(n. p. ).
They go on to talk about eighth-graders and their drinking habits. One in four eighth-graders have drank in the last month, one in six have reported binge drinking, and one in ten got drunk while drinking(n. p. ). Binge drinking is drinking heavily in a short amount of time and can result in alcohol poisoning sometimes resulting in death.
If that is shocking, maybe the statistic that one in two high school seniors drink on a monthly basis(n. p. ). These statistics again prove a serious problem, but what is the root?In a society where children are able to identify more brands of beer than American Presidents,there is a definite problem.
The root to the dangerous mix of alcohol and todays youth is the media. The increase in underage alcohol consumption is a direct and indirect result of the medias influence in children and teenagers. The same study by the NIAAA showed that when a group of nine to eleven-year-olds were asked what Tony the Tiger said when he appears on television advertisements, then asked what those talking frogs, spokes critters for Budweiser, said, they were able to respond to the latter much faster (1). Clearly, these ads are leaving an impression on youngminds.
These advertisements are targeting teenagers heavily during prime-time television and during A large portion of a television program is its commercials. Commercials praise this soft drink because it is richer, that brand of potato chips because they are crispier, and those khakis because people can line-dance in them. The commercials are colorful and loud, featuring beautiful people: models, rock stars, athletes, actors, and actresses that society have come to make their role models. Every company is spending millions of dollars to get the most renowned characters, people, cartoons, or animals to appeal so that we will buy their products. These are the same targeting tactics used in alcohol advertisements as well.
Statistics from P. A. Madden and J. W.
Grubes research Frequency and Nature of Alcohol and Tobacco Advertisements on Television Sports from the American Journal of Public Health says that the beer brewing industry spends six million dollars each year on television and radio advertisements. As well, they spend ninety million dollars a year on print advertisements (298). Aside from that, they get less obvious advertisements. When watching a movie, people drink a certain soda, eat at certain fast-food restaurants, and wear a particular brand of clothing to try to sway the public to buy the same things. When looking at exactly whom the television and movie industry is targeting, consider the audience that is watching.
Television shows such as DawsonsCreek and Beverly Hills 90210 are aimed primarily at teenagers. Many times they urge abstinence of habit-forming substances to teenagers. .