Essay Preview: Underage Drinking
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Underage drinking is a big factor to the statistics of death tolls in America. Many young people begin experiencing the effects of alcohol from age 13 and continue in its many wonders of seduction through peer pressure. “The average number of alcoholic drinks among college students is five in a single occasion, according to a recent survey. Among those younger than 21, it is 5.5 drinks, and among those 21 and older, it is 4.2 drinks including beers, vodkas, and wines become part of their digestive systems.”(Alcohol). These outrageous facts are the beginning of a speedy end to the lives of those who are intoxicated and those they affect, whether through drunk driving or hostile behavior. Partnership for a drug free America researched that over 6,000 people lost lives through drunk driver related accidents in the year of 1995. Too much alcohol in the system can also lead to alcoholism and alcohol poisoning. Who would have thought that beer could be a poison to the body?
According to the 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health,” About 10.8 million Americans between ages 12-20 report current alcohol consumption” The peak years of alcohol initiation are in 7th and 8th graders. When adolescents between the ages of 12 and 20 drink alcohol they consume on average about five drinks per occasion about six times a month. “Each year, approximately 5,000 young people under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking.” (Why do Adolescents Drink?) These statistics may seem hard to believe but in fact are true. Too many of our youth are dying due to the subjection of alcohol. One night, one party, one double dare, could lead one from one beer to another until complete intoxication and harm to others.
Some action needs to be taken to ensure that underage drinking is minimized. Not only can introducing alcohol to young bodies hurt their brain development, it can also cause them to become dependent on the drug. Governments need to be strict on to whom they give liquor licenses. Once the stores receive their license there has to be severe consequences for selling to underage drinkers. “A 1990 survey of nearly 2,000 high school students throughout the United States indicated that 70 percent said they drink alcohol and 30 percent admitted having driven while impaired by alcohol.” (Preusser & Williams 2). It is understandable that every case of underage drinking cannot be prevented but it is unacceptable for profit driven businesses to sell to any patron that walks in their store.
All the blame cant be placed on businesses. Every one has to take responsibility, starting with parents. Whether or not parents talk to their kids about drinking, they will be introduced to it. Children can either see the glamorized version that is on TV and ads, or they can hear the truth from their parents. Forty-one percent of students have consumed alcohol by the eighth grade. This means that someone is not doing their job since the minimum legal drinking age is 21. If you want something done right, you got o do it yourself. Parents need to take initiative. That is their responsibility.
In high school other members of my class had parties where the sole purpose was to get drunk. Out of the 4 or 5 parties held, I didnt attend one. My peers kept pressuring and pressuring me to come but I always refused. No matter how hard they tried they could not get me to go. There is a reason for that. Since I was a young girl my parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles have all warned me about drinking and doing drugs. Not only that, I grew up in the projects so I saw how those substances caused people to act. I did not want to be seen acting like them so I abstain from drinking. If more people take the time to educate their kids like my does did me it would make a big change.
“Underage drinking has reached epidemic proportions in America,” says Joseph A. Califano Jr., CASA president and former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. “(Gans 1). Alcohol damages the young brain, interferes with mental and social development and interrupts academic progress. Alcohol is the fatal attraction for many teens, a major factor in the three leading causes of teen death – accidents, homicide and suicide.” Early education of the negative effects of drinking alcohol can help to curb the number of cases of underage drinking. When you can experience something first hand it leaves a greater impression on you. The methods used to teach kids about aftermath of drinking prematurely should