Our youngsters shun drink, drugs and clubs for a quiet night in front of the TV

Teenagers have always been unpredictable, but todays young gene-ration are taking the trait to extremes.

Just when their parents are trying to be laid back turning a blind eye to drinking and even the odd puff of cannabis the young ones start acting like middle aged bores.

Instead of raving the night away in a club, they are more likely to be joining their friends for conversation, coffee and Andy Williams records.

As for being glued to the TV, they cultivate a greater interest in the gardening series Ground Force than Top of the Pops. Friends, not surprisingly, is a favourite too. Some experts claim the hit American comedy started the stay at home trend.

Teenager Samantha Carrington says she is bored with clubbing and spends three or four night in every week with her friends. Samantha, 18, from Hackney in east London added. I dont go to big clubs any more. Everyone is completely off their faces and that becomes very annoying. I stay in or go to a friends place and its much more fun. We just talk, watch videos or share a bottle of wine.

Ive become a lot closer to my friends. I met most of them in clubs, but realised that they were just acquaintances. As for program-mer like Ground Force, lots of my friends watch them and so do I.

Sociologists found that young people who went in for low key socialising saw it as trendy, not embarrassing. Informer, a leading youth culture marker research company, has discovered that young people feel clubbing has become too popular, too loud and too main stream.

Youngsters suddenly realise they have been clubbing and taking drugs with their friends so often that they havent actually properly spoken to them for years.

As they look to the millennium, teenagers are feeling uncertain about their future and are looking inwards. An ideal night is more about sharing experiences and talking.

Parents are becoming more liberal about letting their children drink and even allowing them to use cannabis in their rooms.

Theyd rather their children were using soft drugs at home than taking hard drugs in clubs.

Sociologists claim that shunning the social whirl means teenagers can expert fewer but more intense friend ships. Rather than finding new companions, they will increase the demands they make on the tiny circle they already know. A social trend has sparked a revolution in Britains leisure industry, with high street coffee shop chains booming.

Informer also found that teenagers are more discerning about TV. They want to get something out of television, rather than watching it mindlessly. They have no real interest in gardening, but find shows

like Ground Force entertaining and educative.

The music industry was quick to spot the switch from loud night-clubs by cashing in on the craze for easy listening. Now cardigan clad singers like Andy Williams who had even passed out of fashion when many of todays parents were teenagers are back in style.


Straight edge teenagers are a growing group of youths who are unhappy with the corrupt society in which they are growing up. They dont want to follow the usual routes of teenage rebellion. Instead they have chosen to life to better themselves and the world in which they live.

Originally, being a straight edge meant that you didnt drink, smoke or do drugs. These days straight edgers are additionally participating in

animal right protests, following a vegetarian or vegan diet and are increasingly involved in environmental and political issues and protest. Music also plays an important role in the straight edge scene. Straight edge bands originally grew out of the punk rock \ hardcore scene in the 1980s as a reaction against the infamous excesses of punk rock.

Agree to disagree

Over the years straight edges popularity has increased, but attention has also been focussed on the narrow minded aspects of the straight edge way of life. The problem today is, that while some see the straight edge philosophy as positive, many others see it as being intolerant of others. The tension between the two groups has led (particularly in America) to violent incidents. The main problem seems to be shat straight edge teenagers take their beliefs to different extremes. There seems to be a big disagreement between ordinary straight edgers who follow the basic principles of having a dean, healthy and positive lifestyle, and extreme straight edgers, who are aggressive towards different beliefs and lifestyles.

Hard line

In the US, there is one area notorious for extreme or hard line straight edge behavior Salt Lake City in the state of Utah. Many of the edgers like to classify themselves as a crew, which other people, and the police in particular, tend to translate as gang. A minority of radicals have no patience with anyone, teenagers or adults, who drink and smoke or do not fit to their strict philosophy in some way.

Over the edge

Straight edge crews are also know for fighting rival straight edge crews when there is no one else to fight. As a result, some hardcore bands refuse to tour in Salt Lake City, where there have been severalserious incidents including beating and stabbings. Some teenagers, such as Bret Walton, even end up in jail. Bret is on 3 years probation after serving time in jail for planning to burn down a business that sells fur traps. Bret is a vegan, who according to the straight edge Hardline Manifecto, should aim for purity in everyday life by not taking an would say that he has taken his beliefs in the freedom of animals too far.

Fashion statement

Straight edge kids make a statement with their fashion as well as with their philosophy. A tidy appearance is popular, with baggy trousers and T shirts. Tattoos are a popular statement of straight edge membership, as are pierced earlobes with large hotels. Backpacks confiscated from student at a high school in Utah contained chains and heavy chain necklaces. There is also a straight edge symbol sXe, in which the X is the universal symbol of the straight edgers. Unfortunately, some young people end up displaying the symbol, whether they want to or not. One young man was scarred with an X, cut into his back by a group of straight edge kids who found him smoking pot. Whilst many people are antidrugs, most people do not take the law into their own hands, and certainly not in such a violent and dangerous way.

Solidarity and self expression

Perhaps it is the lack of any other way to express themselves that attracts teenagers to the straight edge philosophy. Maybe it is the need to be able to show your solidarity with a group of like minded friends. Many young people these days are taking a greater interest in the world in which they live. They are looking at how they can contribute to its future, but many ordinary straight edge teenagers and the public are shocked at the ways in which the more extreme followers of straight edge are trying to get their message across.



Klan killer executed

A FORMER member of the Ku Klux Klan was extcuted in the electric chair for murdering a black youth.

Henry Hays, 42, was pronounced dead after eight minutes. He had helped to lynch 19-year-old Michael Donald after cruising a poor neighbourhood at Mobile, Alabama, looking for a black person to kill.

The murder prompted a civil case in which Michaels family sued one of the main Klan organisation's, winning about 4,3 million and almost bankrupting the organisation.

Hays claimed he was innocent and blamed his conviction on membership of America.

But another Klan members testified that he and Hays had attacked the teenager.

They forced Michael into their car at gunpoint. Lainer they beat him with tree branches and, after he tried to escape, put a noose around his neck and choked him.

The jury of 11 whites and one black recommended that Hays serve a sentenct of life without parole. But the judge decided on the death penalty.


New anti-drugs campaign for young people

The problem

Last year, a European survey showed that the number of teenagers who had tried drugs was 6 per cent in Greece, 15 per cent in France and 30 per cent in Britain.

Statistics show that drug use by British teenagers has doubled since 1989. Half teenagers who were interviewed admitted they had tried at least one type of drug. 70 per cent said they had been offered drugs in the past 3 months.

The drugs that the government is most worried about are stimulant drugs such as Speed and Ecstasy (or 'E' as it is commonly known) and hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD. They are worried that many young people believe these drugs to be exciting and fashionable. They think that many of teenagers will be influenced by films such as Transporting and Pulp Fiction which show attractive people taking drugs.

The solution

The government decided that it needed a new anti-drugs campaign. However, before it did this, it studied young people's attitudes. The survey showed that teenagers knew that drugs were bad for them but they could not actually name any health risk associated with particular drugs. It also showed that 61 per cent of teenage drug-users would consider stopping using drugs if they thought they were a serious danger to their health.

It was also understood that many teenagers ignored drugs warnings in schools because they thought they were childish. In fact, it was proved that in some cases, the reason for taking drugs was to rebel against warnings from adults.

Using the results of the survey, a new campaign has been started. The new hopes to treat teenagers like adults. It informs young people of the health risks associated with particular drugs. It does this with photos of teenagers. On the advertisements, the parts of their bodies which can be damaged by drugs are indicated by biological diagrams showing the health risks.

Many teenagers try drugs as a 'dare' to show their friends that they are not scared. Often their friends insist until the person says 'yes'. The health authority hope that the advertisements will help teenagers to say 'no' tothis and be able to have good reasons to posters reason say it. In addition to posters, the health authority has also made radio advertisements and put the number of their drugs helpline (a telephone number that can be called confidentially for help) in a lot of places. The people at the helpline advise' people what to do if they hive' a drug problem or need more information about dangers of drugs.



31% of teenagers interviewed could not name a health risk associated with Ecstasy.

LAST YAER, Eton (one of England's most expensive schools) and several other schools introduced drug tests.

If the tests show a pupil has used an illegal drug, he/she is expelled and has to leave the school forever.

LAST YAER, it was discovered that children of 10 years were being sold hallucinogenic drugs (LSD). The drugs had pictures of cartoon characters on them to attract the children.

49% of young drug-users say they would stop using drugsif they thought they were getting addicted.

35% of young drug-users say they don't know why they use them.

MOST young drug-users say that they listen more to what their friends say about drugs than to what the media say about drugs.

THE NUMBER of young males taking drug is higher than the number of young females.

THE GREATEST increase in drug use in the past eight years is by 15-16 year olds.

MANY people argue that smoking kills more people, than drugs.

9,75% of British 12-13-year-olds smoke at least one cigarette a week.

26,4% of British 14-15-year-olds smoke at least one cigarette a week.






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