WHY OUR CHILDREN DRINK by Edmond G. & Jovita R. Addeo


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The why is not always clear, even though the Addeos interviewed scores of alcohol abuse counselors, high-school teachers, psychiatrists and social workers--to say nothing of the kids who are quite open about their attraction or addiction to the bottle. ""I didn't care about anything that happened to anybody; all I wanted to do was get drank"" said one seventeen-year-old; ""I would start my day With four or five shots of whiskey before going to school in the morning"" reported another. From the morass of statistics gathered here from communities all over the country it seems clear that alcoholism as well as social drinking among kids is rapidly increasing--in one Massachusetts town 92% of the high school students admitted they ""use"" liquor and 59% claimed they get drunk regUlarly. The Addeos do tend to be somewhat hysterical about the kid who occasionally takes a beer or a glass of wine but you can understand why once they get to all those automobile fatalities caused by teenage drunken drivers. One reason booze is so popular and youngsters are drinking not only more but harder stuff is because it's legal and they see their parents knocking back cocktails at home. ""We find a lot of parents who actually congratulate their kids for floundering with alcohol instead of drugs,"" says one psychiatric counselor; and indeed the authors find that there has been a shift back to liquor as ""the drug of choice."" For the most part though, the kids seem to drink for the same reasons as their parents: to get high, to get drunk, to relax, to enjoy the party. Aside from their occasional lapses into sensationalism, the Addeos have done a good job with a murky and too-little-understood adolescent tragedy.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1975
Publisher: Prentice-Hall