Study Says: Girls Drink To Forget Problems, Have Fun

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Teen girls are drinking alcohol! And now that it's almost the holiday weekend, newscasters are going into hysteria-mode. According to an adolescent psychologist, "the numbers are staggering." Use of alcohol, ecstasy, and marijuana are all on the rise.

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After several decades of decline, pot is becoming popular among the under-20 set. One of the most "disturbing" findings in recent studies: girls are beginning to catch up with boys when it comes to drug and alcohol use. • The Obama administration has launched a new Twitter account - @healthcaregov - to go with the newly live HealthCare.gov website. They have only tweeted once so far, with "Ready to take health care into your own hands? Get started at the new HealthCare.gov!" Weirdly, under "favorite tweets," the administration account lists several messages by P Diddy, mostly about Ciroc vodka. • According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, 87.8% of all Americans will take part in some sort of festivity this Sunday. You know what that means? Spending. Lots of spending. $3 billion worth of spending. On weekend parties, food, patriotic junk and fireworks. Have a happy (read: expensive) holiday. • And if you really want to do Independence Day right, Forbes has a list of the best places to enjoy the fourth. My hometown (Boston, natch) tops the list. • John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis has recently mailed letters to 1,812 veterans telling them they could have been put at risk for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV after visiting the medical center for dental work. According to a hospital spokesman, the issue stems from improperly cleaned dental instruments. Technicians apparently broke protocol by hand washing the instruments before putting them into a cleaning device. • Starting today, tan-happy Americans will have to pay a 10% tax on indoor tanning services. This will be the first new tax to fund health care reform to go into effect. Doctors also hope that it will discourage young people from endangering their health - though for many it is unfortunately too late. "If you get a basic skin cancer in your 20s or 30s, your chance of getting melanoma within the next 10 years are actually much higher. That's a very scary way to live your youth to be constantly worried about lethal skin cancer," said Dr. Ellen Marmur. • The littlest Duggar, Josie, has finally gone home. She spent the last six months in an intensive care unit, but though she has been released into the wild, doctors say she isn't out of the woods yet. But even with the risks, the family says their trilled to have Josie home. "She has a double chin now," Michelle Duggar told People. "It is so precious." •

DISCUSSION

By
RousseMacabre, from Ravenclaw

Uh, okay. Obviously, when young women drink it's because they're planning on going WILD and being HARLOTS. When men drink it's because they're planning on hanging out with the boiz. Girls aren't allowed to have fun. If we have fun, all hell breaks loose, because we're being stupid reckless women who can't control their emotions or actions when they're sober, so just IMAGINE what intoxication does to ladies!!

Yes, we drink to have fun and lessen the sting of current troubles. It is a treat to enjoy when you are safe to. Alcohol is fun, and most of the people I know who drink are VERY smart about it. Once we start drinking(which is hardly often enough, unfortunately), we are in for the night. I also have the remarkable ability to think about what I'm doing or saying while I'm drunk so I don't or rarely do anything stupid. It's a good skill to learn if families and parents let their children try alcohol in their teens at home, so they can learn how to pace themselves and see how alcohol is something to use with caution, but not a big bad exciting thing. While underage drinking IS illegal, I hardly think it's as harmful as many believe it to be. The harmful thing is getting behind the wheel. While underage drinking should be discouraged, if we condemn it as harshly as we do, it will hardly prevent kids from doing it. When it's something bad or racy, they want to do it more. Because it's something we have to hide or steal or smuggle, kids try to have AS MUCH of it as possible in one sitting. I wish this puritanical nation could have a more relaxed and healthy view towards alcohol like many European nations do, where alcohol seems to be something you enjoy with a meal or in a pub with your friends. Because it's not treated as some big-bad siren of moral decay most of the time, it's treated how all things should be: in moderation. It's a treat, not an indulgence.