by Christa Lollis
Keeping kids away from alcohol, especially on the weekends, is something that parents have been dealing with for years. Seth Franks a drug free all star says it's the same every week. "Every Friday, what are ya'll doing tonight? We're going to go get drunk and every Monday after a weekend it's like what did ya'll do this weekend? Oh, we got wasted." But the way they're getting drunk now might surprise you. According to the drug free all stars and the TABC, teens are turning to energy drinks. "Young people, if they drink too much of it, they can become intoxicated just like drinking any other kind of alcoholic beverages," Jeff Taylor with TABC explains.
The catch is, these drinks are much easier for young people to get their hands on. Some stores have the alcoholic and non-alcoholic brands mixed together, and sometimes the checkers don't even look to see which one the teenagers are buying. The scary thing is these drinks pack more punch than beer. "Tilt, which is one of the energy drinks, there's the equivalent of 2 beers so I'm not saying it's good but it's better to drink one beer than to drink 1 alcoholic energy drink," Franks tells KTRE.
It's not just the alcohol content, but also the advertising that scares the all stars. They feel companies are targeting others their own age. "It's focused on young people I think and if they keep it a low profile maybe people won't know about it and they won't get caught. I'm not sure but it's a problem and it needs to be brought out to light," drug free all star, Veronica Calderon worries. Their actions have already lead to one local store pulling the drinks from its shelves, and they hope that's just the beginning.