The truth behind teenage drinking and alcohol abuse

Every action has a reaction


Alex Young, Author

As young adults get older and experience life at a much faster pace, the pressure of trying new things seems to become a reality. Teenage years bring about the opportunity to receive a state issued driver’s license, evidently more rigorous courses in school, athletic challenges, and complex social dilemmas, which include actions based off of peer pressure.

The beginning of adulthood initiates teenagers to have a newfound rush to live a little more, which is why they get involved in things such as sneaking out, drinking, experimenting with synthetic substances, and taking more risks as a whole. Although all of these circumstances are seen as irresponsible to parents, teenagers handle their actions and consequences in different ways. Some teenagers do not have much of a struggle handling the risk of these actions, but the majority does.

Alcohol abuse on average begins between the ages of 15 and 18 years old; influences could be alcoholic parents, or being acquaintances with other problematic drinkers. Studies conducted by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism show that teens who take part in underage drinking are more likely to underperform in school, have an increase in dangerous sexual activity, and become emotionally unstable in social situations.

According to a study conducted by Project Know, an organization that specializes in teenage habits, out of the 10 million underage teen drinkers in the United States, 20 percent engage in consistent binge drinking. To put that into perspective, that means 2 million high school students around the nation dangerously consume alcohol at a fast rate multiple times per week. On top of that, 600,000 of those students are projected to have a form of alcohol dependency, a psychiatric diagnosis in which a person is uncontrollably in need to consume alcohol.

Alcohol is one of the most widely-used substances by the American population, which is why it is not always used correctly. The National Institute of Health (NIH) states that, “the consequences of rapid alcohol intake can include nausea, shakiness, memory loss, and alcohol poisoning.”

DrinkAware.Co says, “being aware of alcohol poisoning is crucial because if you [or someone you know] is suffering from a form of it and they do not know,  then they will be in no state to help themselves from the effects.” As one of the more dangerous effects of alcohol abuse, it is important to know its symptoms; vomiting, seizures, low-body temperature, and unconsciousness.

Although alcohol can be used harmlessly, it is important to realize that every action has an opposite reaction and that there are consequences. The best way to avoid these consequences is to either stay away from, or be smart with alcohol.