Muir Wood therapist, David Laing

Spotting Fake IDs? There’s an App for That

Think back to your high school or early college days. Did you ever use a fake ID to buy alcohol underage? Whether you did or didn’t engage in this trend, fake IDs are still used all too often by underage teens attempting to buy alcohol and/ or cigarettes. The good news, though, is that thanks to new innovations in technology, getting that fake ID past the bouncer at the club or the clerk at the store is a lot harder.

Nowadays, there’s an app in town known as barZapp, available for the iPhone. This app turns the phone’s camera into an ID scanner. Just by zapping the bar code, the user can easily determine whether or not the ID being presented is a legitimate one. In addition to providing info on whether or not the ID is authentic, the app also returns information about the ID owner’s birthday, height, weight, eye color, and hair color. Users with the app can even tell when the ID expires and whether or not the ID has been scanned at that location before. The app costs as little as $1.99 per day or $19.95 per month to use and was created by Intellicheck Mobilisa.

Underage Drinking: A Serious Problem

If you think underage drinking isn’t a serious problem and that apps like barZapp are “over the top,” think again. Underage drinking is a lot more dangerous and a lot more prevalent than most people realize. In fact, the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that around 10 million people drink underage within a given month, and some of these drinkers are as young as twelve. About 39 percent of underage drinkers questioned in the survey admitted to drinking “some alcohol,” while 22 percent admitted to binge drinking, which is a type of alcoholism. Another 8 percent admitted that they drove after they consumed alcohol, and a startling 24 percent reported that they got into a car with a driver who had been drinking.

The Consequences of Underage Drinking

Not only is it possible for underage drinkers to become alcoholics before they’ve even graduated from high school (or middle school). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists several consequences of underage drinking. They include:

  • A higher risk of being absent from school and having low or failing academic performance
  • Higher incidences of fighting, social withdrawal, and other social problems
  • Higher incidences of legal problems
  • Decreased health
  • Stunted growth
  • Increased risk of unprotected sex
  • Increased risk of unwanted pregnancy
  • Increased risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease or infection
  • Increased risk of physical/ sexual assault
  • Increased risk of car accidents
  • Increased risk of unintentional injuries
  • Memory problems
  • Increased risk of drug use
  • Changes in brain development
  • Risk of death by alcohol poisoning

Don’t let your son fall victim to these life altering consequences; contact us at Muir Wood today and get them the professional help they need before it’s too late.