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Effects of Underage Drinking

By kster14 Nov 12, 2010 1032 Words
Effects of Underage Drinking
Drinking is one of the biggest things to do when people get together socially. They go to the bar they have parties, or just sit around and drink but alcohol is always around. Going into high school and college is the main time that teens think it should be a good time to try it out. They feel as if they are a bit older now and since everyone else is doing it why shouldn’t they. But the drinking age is 21 for a reason. The underage drinkers don’t understand what a risk they are taking every time they drink.

Teen drinking has always been a problem but it is actually on the decline, which is very fortunate. Even though it is on the decline, 3 out of 4 high school students admit to having drank before and that’s still a lot. The most serious effect of teenage drinking is that it leads to adult dependence. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that teens who start drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to develop an alcohol addiction than those who do not begin drinking before the legal age of 21. And with so many high school students drinking, that could lead to a lot alcoholics with ruined lives all because they couldn’t listen to the law. Drinking and driving is another danger of teenage alcohol use. Forty percent of all alcohol-related fatal car crashes involve teens. Teens may not realize they are too impaired to drive, or they may be afraid to call home for a ride. Regardless of the reason, teens that drink often drive while under the influence. Another reason the legal age is 21 because you will at least know when you can and can’t drive and if you can’t you will be able to call someone to pick you up because aren’t doing anything wrong unlike if you were a teen.

When you drink, the alcohol impairs your judgment so when you’re drinking you are more likely to take so many more risks than if you were sober. And another example of the risk taking is that alcohol may also serve as a “gateway drug” into more serious drug use. Once teens have decided alcohol use is acceptable, they may feel other drugs are also okay. Impaired judgment may also lead to the experimentation with other drugs. Not only will it affect what you do while you’re actually drinking but it can also have later effects. Teen alcohol use nearly always causes poor performance in school, if the teen is using on any kind of a regular basis. Teens that use alcohol have trouble concentrating in class and on assignments. They also have difficulty with peer relationships and with relationships with teachers and other authority figures. Teen alcohol use also causes family problems. Teens who use alcohol may withdraw from the family and have difficulty with family relationships. They may demonstrate behavioral problems as well, so basically it’s hard to keep control of your own life when you abuse alcohol at an early age.

So far you can see that teen alcohol use can be crucial on school, relationships and family but it can also be a huge factor on your health. People today are well aware of the health problems caused by excessive alcohol consumption. Health problems can include stomach ulcers, liver problems, heart problems, and malnutrition. Alcohol can damage every organ in one's body. It is absorbed directly into the bloodstream and can increase risks for a variety of life-threatening diseases, including cancer. These problems generally occur in people who have been drinking over a longer period of time and are not always seen in teens, but can result as they grow older if they continue to drink. Which leads back to if you start drinking as a teen it will most likely carry over to when your older to continue to be an alcohol problem which can become a health problem.

Now knowing all the horrible effects of teen drinking it’s time to talk about things that can help prevention of it happening. Parents simply talking to their teenagers about the use of alcohol and the effects of teenage drinking, parents can reduce the risk of their children drinking. Studies show that teens whose parents talk to them about alcohol and drugs are 42% less likely to use those substances than teens whose parents don’t discuss the issue with them. Parents can also help by setting good examples for their teens. If they drink, parents should do so responsibly, and never drive while under the influence. Not only parents can be a help in the prevention but some schools also have ways to promote prevention. Most schools also provide educational programs designed to educate students about the dangers of underage drinking. Some of these programs are more effective than others. One popular program, DARE, involves local police officers coming into the schools to talk to students about drugs and alcohol. Its effectiveness has been called into question, but it is still one of the most widely used programs today.

It’s clear to why there is a no alcohol policy in the housing now. Even if you are 21 that would set an example as if drinking is okay, which could and probably would, lead to more people drinking in the housing. And more underage drinking also leads to more responsibility on the RA’s and Housing Managers part because of the health risks. There really aren’t any good results from underage drinking. Even if you don’t take any ridiculous risks or don’t extremely drunk, you’re still breaking the law and can get in trouble for that. Underage drinking is illegal for a reason and now I know what I was getting myself into when breaking the rules and it wasn’t anything good. I’m glad the research actually showed me the risks of my actions and what can actually happen. Now I can understand why exactly the drinking age is 21.

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