Why do children on the Brac drink?
Because they have nothing else to do.
Because everyone else is drinking around them.
Because it’s easy to get.
Because no one stops them.
They’re doing it in bars.
They’re doing it on the streets.
They’re even doing it in school. We know because the sister of a student told us.
The Caymanian Compass first broached this subject in 2003 when a reporter travelled to the Brac to interview Brac youths between the ages of 14 and 21.
That interview showed that cocaine use was on the increase among children and that ganja and alcohol were most commonly used among teens.
When the Compass reported on the drug and alcohol problem four years ago we were told we were blowing things out of proportion.
Obviously we weren’t.
The problem still persists, so much so that MLA Julianna O’Connor-Connolly stood up in Legislative Assembly and talked about the elephant in the room – underage drinking on Cayman Brac.
Is she blowing the issue out of proportion?
We don’t think so. There is and has been a definite problem with underage drinking on the Brac and until the people who live there decide it should stop, the problem is going to persist.
Ms O’Connor-Connolly has asked for additional law enforcement to make sure minors can’t buy alcohol.
But is it solely a law enforcement problem? No, it’s a societal problem.
If someone on the Brac sees a child consuming beer or liquor it is incumbent on them to notify the police.
Sure, you don’t want to be ratting out your neighbours and relatives in a society as small as the Brac. But if you don’t start turning in these young offenders you are essentially helping to throw away a generation of people.
Basically the Brac is raising a generation of alcoholics who probably will have problems finding steady jobs when they’re older and who could potentially be a burden on the healthcare system because of alcohol-related illnesses.
Does Government need to throw money at this problem or come up with committees and programmes to combat underage drinking? No.
The people who live on the Brac need to straighten up and start acting responsibly.
Give kids chores to do if they’re bored. Most of the older generation of Caymanians would never have thought about drinking when they were children.
They didn’t have time.
Brackers, it’s time for you to save your children and your Island’s future.