Alcohol a burden on youth
Young people in all parts of the world are more than ever exposed to the intoxicating alcohol norm originating from the Western world and penetrating all aspects of their lives – homes, leisure time activities, school, work, culture, friends.
Young people encounter alcohol consumption at homes by their parents, in media by their idols be it famous athletes or artists, in movies, at school events and of course online. Alcohol advertisements on the internet intentionally target young people. It is proven that the more alcohol advertisements are shown to youngsters, the earlier they start using alcohol, or the higher is their alcohol intake.
Another factor contributing to young people’s alcohol consumption are parents who mistakenly believe that consuming small amounts of alcohol at home will prevent their children from consuming high amounts of alcohol when being with their peers. The effect is the opposite and leads to even higher alcohol consumption.
A general lack of alcohol free environments for young people is yet another crucial factor leading to underage alcohol consumption and youth heavy episodic alcohol intake.
Early onset of alcohol use and heavy alcohol use in young years contribute to early school drop-out, youth unemployment, diseases, violence and accidents that are a great obstacle to both individual and societal development.
IOGT International, through its youth activities, creates alcohol free environments, empowers young people, and changes the current myths built around alcohol consumption. IOGT International provides space for young people and youth workers to exchange knowledge and develop their work to keep it effective and attractive for youth. Member Organizations of IOGT International offer spare time activities, educate young people, empower community action, and advocate evidence-based alcohol policies that help prevent alcohol harm among youth.
In this context, we are proud of our European youth platform Active – sobriety, friendship, and peace. Active organises special programmes targeting youth including international seminars and training courses, conferences, workshops and camps on a regular basis. Active is also a recognised participant in youth networks and advisory committees in Europe.