HomeCommunity IssuesKoream: Struggling With the Korean "Culture of Drinking"

Koream: Struggling With the Korean “Culture of Drinking”

Korean drink BaeksejuIn many Korean households, children are exposed to alcohol consumption on an almost daily basis at a young age, as attitudes towards underage drinking are relatively relaxed.  

Korean American Sam Joo, in his interview with Koream, talked about growing up exposed to excessive drinking, which he, like many young Korean Americans, considered “normal, acceptable behavior.”  

Joo detailed the potential consequences of underage drinking, as he claims that alcohol can act as a potent gateway drug.  

He now works at the Los Angeles-based Koreatown Youth and Community Center where he oversees efforts to stem underage drinking.

“He[one of Joo’s clients in drug rehabilitation program] began ditching classes in junior high, and he would go over to his friend’s house [to drink],” described Joo. “He told me that it all started with drinking beer. Then he moved on to hard liquor, and it eventually led to drug use. Later on, he even had a brand new car, but he ended up selling it for $500 for drugs.”  

To learn more about the Korean “culture of drinking” and Joo’s work to curb it, see Koream.

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