Alcohol And Teens

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate July 2001

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In America today teens are faced with difficult decisions ever day in life. Normally kids are able to use their brain and not to get involved in something that could become a problem later in life. However, in today's age kids, especially teens, are faced with a serious problem "whether or not to drink alcohol."� Everyone knows that teens have been experimenting with alcohol since it was discovered but teens today are using it more often and with totally different purposes. In the last decade in America there has been a consistent rise of teenagers who have become physically dependent of alcohol and this is a scary statistic, when you think that these kids are the future of America.

After hearing this you may now be wondering what could drive teenagers to abuse alcohol when they have their whole life ahead of them. The first and main reason's that teenagers begin to drink is if alcohol runs in their family.

If a child's parents consume large amounts of alcohol then the child himself has much more of a risk in starting to use alcohol at a young age. Another factor that drives teenagers to use alcohol is their peers. This is not a huge way that brings kids to drinking but everyone knows that a person's peers have a tremendous affect on them. If a person's friends are doing something then this child is much more likely to try it him or herself.

Once a teenager begins to drink it is not the drinking that does damage to the person so much but the way the person drinks. A lot of teenagers today drink in way that is called binge drinking. Binge drinking is defined as having four or more drinks in an hour. As you can see binge drinking is done for only one purpose and that is to get drunk fast. Studies show that binge drinking usually begins at the age of 13, tends to increase during adolescence years and then peaks in young adulthood around 18-22. There was another study done on what percent of people binge drink, the study showed that 28% of high school seniors, 41% of college students, and only 25% of 31 to 32 year old people binge drink.

The main concern of teenage kids drinking is that when they do drink they often get behind the wheel of a vehicle. The number one way that kids die from the ages of 18-23 is by some alcohol-related death. This is why cities and states are trying to make stiffer penalties for people who drive while under the influence of alcohol. This is a reason why that the drinking age was moved to 21 from 18 because, there was just too many cases of alcohol related deaths. Even with this the number of deaths related to alcohol keeps raising every year and this is why (MADD) has come up with some new solutions and penalties for people who violate these laws.

Another reason that teenagers begin to drink and drink heavily is if their parents allow them to drink. Most teenagers will first experiment behind their parent's backs but when they are caught if the parents don't punish them it gives them the impression that they don't care. About 90% of kid's parents don't approve of them drinking but sometimes they believe that there is nothing they can do and often the parents let the kids drink if they stay home where they won't be out driving. If a parent does this I can see both the positive and negative aspects of it. First it is good that the parent is not letting their child out to run around while under the influence but on the other hand if a parent is allowing his child to drink then it is only promoting this activity. This is why parenting is such a tough job because, they are always having to decide on what is right and when they need to let go of their children.

There are several reasons which lead teenagers to drinking however, these ones I have mentioned are the more often reason's found. One last thing that often causes teenagers to start drinking is how easy the drug is to get. Anyone at any age can get alcohol in some way or the other, whether it is by using a fake id, knowing someone at the convenient store, or just having someone walking down the road buy it. I figure this is why they call alcohol the social drug because it is so easy to get and hardly anyone thinks of it as a bad drug.

After one begins to drink on a regular basis for along while their body can start to become physically dependent on the alcohol. When this happens a disease called alcoholism is inherited. It is hard to become dependent on alcohol but once one does it is very hard to stop drinking. Often times the word alcoholic is used on people when they are know where near being dependent on the drug. There are all kinds of signs to look for to tell if a person has a problem with drinking but these signs are not always correct. However, if a person's life revolves around alcohol and they put getting alcohol ahead of buying food for their family then this person may have a problem with drinking.

After reading this I hope that you may get a since of how big the problem of teenage drinking has become. Also I hope that you realize that alcohol is not a harmless drug and it does kill people every day in one way or the other. Finally I would like to say that if you have questions about drinking there are several organizations set up especially for topics about alcohol. Often times just talking about the situation can make a world of difference, so if you or someone you know has a drinking problem take the first step in helping that person.