Alcopops are sweet carbonated alcoholic drinks that are primarily meant for adolescents. Also known as flavored alcoholic beverage, flavored malt beverage, or premium packaged spirits, alcopops are beverages containing alcohol along with certain flavorings like fruit extracts or other alcoholic beverages. Apparently, as most teens and women did not like the bland taste of alcohol and beer, popular alcohol brands marketed them as readily available and tasty alcoholic drinks, under the guise of fizz and sweetness.
These brightly colored and sweet flavored drinks became a rage among the young and women soon after they were launched into the markets. As more and more youngsters nowadays are getting hooked on alcohol at an earlier age, it is expected that the market for alcopops will rise in the future. According to Alcohol Justice, an organization working for the prevention of alcohol and other drug problems, the share of alcopops was reportedly 3.5 percent of the total beer market in 2015. However, it is estimated to reach 148 cases in 2019 as compared to 108 cases in 2014.
Dangers of using alcopops
Admittedly, alcopops are not as innocuous as claimed by their labels. Many of the popular versions of alcopops targeting teens, youngsters and women contain exorbitantly high amounts of alcohol per ounce. For example, in certain varieties of alcopops, the amount of alcohol could be as high as 14 percent. Apart from this, most alcopops are priced cheap, which makes them more accessible to teenagers, who would otherwise have to stash most of their savings for getting an adult drink. According to a 2017 study conducted by Massey University researchers, young women who purchased ready-to-drink alcohol mixes from off-licenses counters had a major drinking problem and were likely to drink nearly 24 liters of alcohol per year.
Most marketers claim that their drinks are targeted for the millennial generation, however, a large chunk of alcopops are mostly consumed by kids nearing the legal drinking age. Studies have shown that teens who drink alcohol before their legal age do considerable harm to their cognitive development. They are at a higher risk of developing chronic substance abuse problems in later life. Moreover, the risk of mental health disorders is also high among these children.
Lately, there has been a slew of fancier and more potent alcopops in the market. The newer versions include flavored ciders, alcoholic ginger beers, speers (spirit-beers), which offer stiff competition to the older beverages. According to Jonny Forsyth, global drinks analyst at market research company Mintel, “Millennials really like sweeter-flavored drinks but they also want to be seen as sophisticated.”
According to Alcohol Justice, the following dangers are associated with unrestricted alcopop use:
- Binge drinking alcopops during youth may delay brain development
- Youth who drink alcopops receive more alcohol-related injuries, obtain more injuries that require medical care, and engage in more physical fights than those who do not drink alcopops
- Increased shelf space for single-serving alcoholic beverages such as alcopops is associated with a rise in violent crime in the area surrounding the retailer.
Leading an alcohol-free life is possible
For teenagers, it is essential to know what goes into their favorite carbonated malt beverage. While one might be tempted by the colorful bottle on the counter, it could contain harmful ingredients apart from sugar and alcohol. While alcohol addiction is definitely a curse, it is not easy for the users to leave behind the habit. Apart from withdrawal symptoms, such as tremors, headache, sweating, etc., many people get emotionally attached to drinking.
If you or a loved one is dependent on alcohol or showing signs thereof, contact the Alcohol Addiction Helpline of California to know more about inpatient treatment for alcoholism in California. Call our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1715 or chat online for detailed information regarding alcohol addiction treatment facilities in California.Continue reading