Dangers of Underage Drinking

Essay by krobert1University, Bachelor'sA-, March 2012

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Dangers of Underage Drinking

Many American teenagers drink alcohol for the first time before they graduate high school. Most see no harm in having the casual drink at a party with friends and a lot of them consider the act as "entering adulthood". Every adolescent wants to be mature, and for this reason, many are dying to drink alcohol before they are legally allowed to. Although the minimum drinking age may seem unwarranted to these teens, they are not yet responsible enough to handle the serious effects of consuming alcohol.

In order to grasp a full understanding on the impacts of underage drinking, it is important to realize the facts. Every year, roughly 5,000 people under the age of 21 die from alcohol related incidences (DFAA). Of these deaths, 1,900 are caused by motor vehicle crashes, 1,600 are caused by homicides, 300 by suicides, and hundreds more due to falls, burns or other accidents (DFAA).

It is obvious to see that adolescents do not just die from alcohol consumption, but from their actions while intoxicated. And plenty of them have the chance to interact with alcohol. According to results from the Monitoring The Future study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse in 2005, three fourths of 12th graders, two thirds of 10th graders, and two fifths of 8th graders have consumed alcohol (NIDA). This shows that teenagers are now drinking earlier, but on their website, the Drug-Free Action Alliance posted even more disturbing information. They said, "40% of children who start drinking before the age of 15 will become alcoholics at some point in their lives. Delaying the use of alcohol until the legal age helps avoid many of the associated problems. If the onset of drinking is delayed by 5 years, a child's risk of serious alcohol problems...