Binge-drinking among young ladies, and among young people generally, has escalated, reported a recent television documentary.

The idea of a good time these days, is to drink 20 units of alcohol in a night out, smoke, perhaps have drugs, dance away to loud music and have a regular thrill.

And yet it comes with a heavy price to pay. Little do young people realize that such a binge-drinking habit becomes an addiction. It can be very difficult to stop when you want to settle down later in life.

We all know that alcohol and nicotine are the most dangerous drugs in society.

Alcohol related problems cost the nation six billion pounds a year but the cost to personal lives is enormous in terms of premature deaths and illness.

Binge-drinking causes an increased risk of nervousness, anxiety, infertility, impotence, heart disease and diabetes.

A pint of beer or a glass of wine at the end of a hard day is very relaxing and healthy for the heart. A social drink with friends revives your energy and joy. But binge drinking for a thrill causes illness.

Many parents will understand my concern when my son or daughter goes out clubbing.

Two weeks ago,my son was brought back home at three o'clock in the morning in a terrible state. He had been drinking more than usual, which he had never done before.

He had been overcome with grief as it was the birthday of his brother who died in an accident ten years ago.

The trouble with alcohol, is that when you get emotionally or mentally stressed, you will hit the bottle as it is the only thing you know that helps you forget your worries and cares. It becomes the vehicle of your enjoyment as well as your refuge.

How about shifting the paradigm to a well-balanced society with controls over commercialism, offering training in greater human values and social support for youngsters, helping them develop inner spiritual strength and confidence, and have a good time too with creative arts?

Are we adults responsible for misguiding our youth in offering them a culture of thrill in the modern society that we have developed for them with relaxed human values, commercialism, a culture of fear, liberated sex, isolation and poor support systems?