Alcohol and It’s Effects
Alcohol and It’s Effects
Alcohol is a large part of American culture. All over the United States drinking is not only acceptable but a social norm from teenagers to adults. This is not only the case in the U.S., but all over the world, where some drinking ages are 18 and 19 years of age. In America specifically, alcohol has been around for centuries and is a large part of many social gatherings. Although this is the case now, in the early 1900’s during the prohibition period, all alcohol was banned and deemed illegal to possess. Even though illegal, the task was just too heavy and alcohol was too much a common practice for most Americans. As time went on the prohibition period ended and the laws were revoked, making it legal again to possess alcohol. The drinking related problems that were around during prohibition pale in comparison to the problems alcohol has caused since then.

Many people wonder if kids are drinking earlier and earlier and they feel the drinking age should be raised. On the other hand many people are against raising the drinking age, mainly those whom would be affected by this decision, Americas youth. From its affect on society, including its appeal towards young adults, to the diseases it causes, the problems of alcohol abuse are widespread and in many forms.

It is a known fact that many Americans drink alcohol on a weekly basis. Depending on the rate and volume of consumption, alcohol has many different effects on the human body. Light drinking has been proven not to be a problem, and is even considered to be healthy. A glass of Red wine once a day is known to be beneficial to the heart. It helps prevent coronary heart disease by reducing plaque deposits in the arteries surrounding the heart, preventing blood clotting, while also helping to dissolve clots that already exist (Rehm 1210). Moderate and heavy drinking is a different story though. When drinking to the point of moderate to heavy consumption, there is a greater risk for personal injury. Car accidents are not the only causes of injury when under the influence of alcohol. Many incidents of injury are directly related to alcohol consumption including violence, and accidental personal injury. This being said, drunk driving is the main cause of death associated with alcohol consumption (Rehm 1220). Researchers have found that with increased volumes of alcohol consumption one is more susceptible to many types of diseases, including mouth, throat, liver, and breast cancer, while also showing signs of liver cirrhosis and coronary heart disease (Rehm 1211-1216). With all these diseases related to alcohol, there are many mental health problems associated with drinking as well. These problems include unipolar depression, epilepsy and other neuropsychological disorders (Rehm 1216-1217). Though drinking itself seems harmless and fun, many of the diseases and problems linked to alcohol are very detrimental and long term.

Along with the negative health effects, teenagers are beginning to drink earlier and it is affecting them in big ways. The perception of alcohol is greatly blurred when it comes to teenagers. Commercials and the media glorify alcohol, almost putting it on a pedestal. Teenagers are exposed to it on an almost daily basis and they in turn are starting to drink during their early teen years. With many developmental changes occurring in adolescence, the thought of alcohol abuse can be alarming. Despite the possible negative affects, there is very little study done on the subject (Arna 1). Adolescent health and alcohol use is not thoroughly researched, despite being a large problem. The reason for lack of evidence on the subject is that the problem is so widespread and there are not many adolescents that will admit to drinking, or even ask their doctor what affects alcohol has on them. With that being said, the little experimental evidence of the effects of adolescent alcohol use gives an idea of the problem at hand. Kids who drink in their early teen years are more likely to be an abuser in their late teen years, while also being more susceptible to alcohol related health problems early in life (Arna 2). Many teens that begin drinking earlier are more likely to become polydrug abusers later in life, meaning they use many different illegal substances, making alcohol in a category with marijuana as a gateway substance to other types of abuse (Arna 2). During adolescence it is important for a growing young person to get proper nutrients and more importantly maintain a balanced nutrition. Most kids do not eat right anyway, and alcohol use just compounds the problem. Alcohol reduces ones metabolism, while impairing “the uptake storage and utilization of micronutrients” (Arna 4). Alcohol also suppresses growth hormones which may result in a lower ultimate height and overall body “hardiness” (Arna 4). With both a teenage diet and alcohol consumption combined, one can see how adolescent growth could be a problem area. No

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Large Part Of Many Social Gatherings And Americans Drink Alcohol. (April 3, 2021). Retrieved from