Underage Drinking and Young Adults
Many people have asked me what experience I have that makes me someone to write a novel about underage drinking. Very good question, and I have to admit that I'm no saint in that department. Most adults will admit they too had experiments with that during a youth that, for my generation, was as turbulent as what current teens face.
The late sixties to the early seventies saw a lot of social change in this country, a lot of uncertainty of what the world would turn out like. To say your parents or grandparents, or even great-grandparents don't understand about this issue isn't totally true. We actually do, even if we chuckle when saying, "Sure, I had a drink or two as a teen, but not all that much."
The internet, with its twenty-four hour, seven day a week instant access to information didn't exist during our time. All we knew was there might or might not have been a group of teens that hid in one area of town to consume bottles of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill wine, or some other currently popular alcoholic beverage, usually grabbed from a parent's stash. A lot of us snuck sips of a booze-laden soft drink, all the while expecting the strong arm of the law to discover us.
That's why it's so hard to say now – "Don't do this. It's wrong. You can ruin your life forever."
I can see those eye rolls from teens. Ruin your life – is she kidding? Nope, she's not kidding. The consequences of being caught at a drinking party if you're underage are far more severe than ever. No longer do the police contact your parents to come and get you. Your next ride is in the back of one of those patrol cars – straight to jail. You get a picture that you'll regret for years. Your fingerprints are attached to a record that will haunt you as you apply for colleges or jobs. Your future career might be affected so badly that you will have to give up your dreams.
Those are the external consequences; the ones that will frustrate you beyond reason. As your parents, we can empathize with your situation. You've seen your parents starting over as careers they depended on until retirement are disappearing, and they must begin anew, often in a field where they are a clueless as a recent college graduate. It's no fun to lose something you always wanted to do, so imagine that happening all because you went to a party and had a few beers.
"But it's just a few beers," you say. "You're not twenty-one, it's not legal," I counter.
Therein lies the problem. Booze is forbidden fruit, and every teen in creation at some point reaches for the unattainable. Just remember, this forbidden fruit has far worse consequences than the fabled apple that Eve gave to Adam. Think before you join with the crowd. Make your own crowd, prove you are ready to wait until you're old enough to drink alcohol sensibly.
Bio: KC Sprayberry started writing young, first as a diarist, and later through an interest in English and creative writing. Her first experience with publication came when she placed third in The Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge contest while in the Air Force, but her dedication to writing came after she had her youngest child, now in his senior year of high school.
Her family lives in Northwest Georgia where she spends her days creating stories about life in the south, and far beyond. More than a dozen of her short stories have appeared in several magazines. Five anthologies feature other short stories. She has four books that are Amazon best sellers: Softly Say Goodbye, Who Am I?, Mama's Advice, and Canoples Investigations Tackles Space Pirates. Her other available novels are: Take Chances, The Ghost Catcher, Family Curse … Times Two, and Secret From The Flames.