Josie is palpably distracted. The customer at Table 4 has asked for another pint for the fifth time. Should she serve him or not? The man is continuously beating the top. Better give in to the demand than get embroiled in a war of words, Josie reasons. She quickly tucks the stray stand back into her hairnet, wipes the sweat from her brow and rushes with the drink. The customer’s eyes are bloodshot and his breathing is labored, while he lets flow the abuses. Then there is the tinkle of glass as it shatters to pieces, and a succession of abuses, shrieks and table crashes ensue. Josie stands dazed as the regular clientele of the bar crowd around the unconscious man.
When Josie got the bartender’s job at the local bar, she was unduly excited. She had just turned 18 and a job was the best way to earn a quick buck and see how the adult world worked. She had a month or two to spare before returning to college full time. But soon Josie realized that her golden dream had turned into a nightmare. At 18, she was ill-equipped to handle tough drunks like the man on Table 4. After weeks of incessant worrying and stress, Josie decided to quit. She has since been working at her aunt’s bakery. She admits there is stress, but it is a lot cleaner working here than in a bar.
In many states in America, the legal age for youngsters serving alcohol is 18 years. Only a couple of states ensure that people joining the ranks of servers are not underage. In certain states, the legal age for serving is 17 years. In very few states, the server needs to be 21 to serve alcohol. Arizona has joined the rank of states that makes it legal for 18-year-olds to serve alcohol at bars and restaurants. With Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signing the House Bill 2047, young adults can manufacture, sell, serve and handle liquor. Previously, Arizona was among many states that had regulations barring 18-year-olds from serving at a bar. The legal age for serving alcohol was initially 19.
Even when someone is not drinking, the danger of getting lured by it remains. Given below are some of the risks associated with young adults working in a bar:
Temptation for having a sip: Youngsters who work in bars are more likely to be tempted to have a sip than those who intern in less claustrophobic settings. Unfortunately, underage drinking is associated with long lasting changes in the brain that can trigger lifelong dependence, addiction, mental health problems and physical health complications.
Inability to judge a customer who has drunk more than the permissible amount: Most youngsters lack the ability to take sound decisions. Many adult customers may intimidate the teen if they are given advice to control themselves. Adult bartenders are firmer in their approach.
Losing out on better job prospects: Instead of working in a bar, interning with a law firm, a small start-up or experiencing first-hand farm life could be more rewarding. The future is brighter when decisions in early stages of life are right.
According to the recent Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) survey, in 2016, 136.7 million Americans aged 12 or older were current users of alcohol. Further, 65.3 million Americans stated that they had indulged in binge alcohol use in the past month, and 16.3 million mentioned that they had heavy alcohol use in the past month. Unfortunately, nearly half of current alcohol users reported binge alcohol use (47.8 percent), and 1 in 8 current alcohol users reported heavy alcohol use, which is equivalent to 11.9 percent.
Alcohol abuse and addiction leads to drastic consequences for a person’s overall well-being and quality of life. It is advisable to consult a certified therapist for support and get the required treatment at the earliest. The Arizona Alcohol Addiction Helpline offers help to people facing alcohol-related problems. Join us for an online chat to get details about evidence-based alcohol addiction treatment centers in Arizona or call our 24/7 helpline 866-671-1510 for assistance in finding the best alcohol addiction treatment clinic in Arizona.