I somehow came across an article in Great Britain’s The Daily Mail that reported on a fourteen-year-old London girl who has been given an ASBO (a civil order made against a person who has been proven to have engaged in anti-social behavior) which prevents her from drinking in public. The girl has been arrested over 20 times in alcohol-related incidents, and she claims to consume about 12 alcoholic beverages a night. Since being hit with the ASBO, which forbids her from acquiring and consuming alcohol, she has vowed to cut back on her drinking, perhaps to two cans of lager a night rather than 12.
I’m sorry but I’m just baffled by this. Obviously this girl has a drinking problem and needs help. Nothing in the article indicated that receiving an ASBO to quit drinking would mean that the girl would actually be receiving counseling or adolescent drug and alcohol treatment to help her quit. I think it’s ridiculous that anyone expects this teen to figure out how to deal with her obviously huge alcohol problem on her own. I honestly stayed awake last night thinking about what an awful situation this girl is in. Not one person mentioned the idea of recovery or teen rehab for this girl. We don’t recover alone.
More and more evidence is showing that teen binge drinking is a growing problem in the US and UK. There are countless articles blasting the problems of teenage binge drinkers, but very few aimed at solutions. Whenever I read articles like this one, I want to scream out, “There is a solution! It doesn’t have to be like this! You aren’t doomed to that life!” I guess this is where I can do it. I wish that parents and struggling teens everywhere could have what I have. I wish they knew that it was going to be okay, that change is possible. If your teen is struggling with alcohol and substance abuse problems and you have stumbled across this site, give your teen this second chance. I am so glad I got my new shot at life, and I really hope others can, too.