Underage Drinking

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Paper 5 -- Final Research Essay
Alcohol use is extremely prevalent in our society. Young people grow up seeing their parents and other adults make toast of wine and champagne at special occasions, as well as casually enjoying a few beers at a picnic. Today alcoholic beverages are frequently as common at business lunches as they are at college frat parties. Underage drinking is a huge problem which everyone must face. Under age drinking not only has devastating effects on those who drink but also on our society. "Young people illegally consume almost 3.6 billion drinks annually which is 10 million drinks each day."(http://www.cspinet.org/booze/alcyouth.htm.) Underage drinking has serious social, health and economic consequences. It is a major factor in crime, violence, mental-health problems, and injuries including both those that are fatal and non-fatal. Unfortunately, these are problems that all of society will have to deal with.

There are a number of reasons why teenagers feel the urge to drink. Social environment, peer influence, stresses, and even factors such as media influence contribute to under age drinking. Peer pressure is a powerful predictor of alcohol use among teens. Americans have a burning desire to be accepted and liked by their peers. Everyone wants to feel a sense of belonging. Many adolescents feel that they need to drink alcohol to gain this acceptance by the others around them. Stress is also another reason why teens may feel apt to drink alcohol. Stress causes teenagers to look for a quick escape from the problems, which they face, in their day-to-day lives. This quick escape can be found in the shape of a bottle. In the eyes of an underage drinker, alcohol is the cure to all problems, a way to forget all of stress and pressures that are facing them. They feel that it will numb their pain and continuing to use alcohol will result in maybe another problem, substance abuse.

The effects of underage drinking on society...
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