Question of the month: Is underage drinking a problem?

EARLIER this month youngsters across the region took part in several discussions about underage drinking in the Borders and having agreed that it was a problem they came up with a number of reasons for it.

The Eyemouth HYPPE (Helping Young People Participate and Engage) Team concluded that some young adults are selling drink cheaply to young people and some shops were selling drink without checking age and IDs.

“We hear stories all the time of young people under age drinking and we know some are as young as 12 years old.,” said the Eyemouth youngsters.

“They can be seen in alleys, parks and sometimes the high street.”

At the Borders Production Unit the young trainees gave a variety of different reasons as to why they think young people drink underage.

One trainee believed there was a problem where she stays because the majority of teenagers drink at a young age - they do it because of family problems, personal issues and simply because they are bored.

Others agreed, adding that there is nowhere else to go and nothing that they feel they can do because cinemas and bowling alleys and most things youngster aged from 12-14 would be most interested in are in towns and cities too far away from where they stay and travel isn’t always possible because of a lack of public transport and the expense.

Another young trainee thought that young people are growing up too fast and that, combined with family problems leads to them being emotionally damaged and turning to comfort drinking.

Some youths choose to start drinking underage due to peer pressure - their friends do it so they do it too thinking it makes them look cool and tough.

Others think that it’s all about pushing the boundaries, as teenagers tend to do.

One trainee said: “My belief is that they do it as a way of rebelling against their parents and society and whilst some teens choose to stay up late or come in 10 minutes after curfew just to see the consequences and refuse to do their homework other teens go to drink.

“When we were younger we all had our own ways of rebelling, my way was to stay up late watching movies with my brother though my mum said not to stay up too late on a school night or to leave my homework to the last minute.”