In the findings of the NationalCenteronAddictionandSubstanceAbuse,the statistics reveals that almost80%ofhighschoolstudentshave tasted alcohol (“Should the drinking age be lowered from 21 to a younger age?” 1).
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Despite the legal drinking age in America being at twenty-one years of age, a substantial number of us may have direct experience of alcohol consumption. Often, some teenagers believe that drinking alcohol helps them to facilitate solutions to their problems. Besides, they think of alcohol a reachable escape route from the numerous pressures and expectations from family members.
As a matter of fact, alcohol does not only affect ourselves but also the people around us. For instance, many victims of drunk-driving die in grisly road accidents and leave their families dejected and orphaned. Moreover, sometimes it is the bread winner who perishes in these avoidable accidents.
Reflectively, I believe most of the teenagers know alcohol as a harmful chemical with lifelong effects on its consumer. If this knowledge is put into practice, the outcome can greatly impact their health (“Risky Business: The Gamble” 1). Then why should we drink?
Across the states of America, teenagers generally start driving at the age of sixteen, as compared to teens in other continents such as Europe who begin driving at the age of 18.The positive index of age in Europe substantially ensures greater safety for the driver in terms of maturity and responsibility. However, due to low legal driving age in America, many teenagers are prone to the risk of driving under the influence of alcohol than in other countries.
In a study carried out in 2008, the results reveal that over 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (“The Nemours Foundation” 1). In addition, drugs such as marijuana and cocaine contributed to about 18% of motor vehicle driver deaths (“Should the drinking age” 2). These drugs are often used in combination with alcohol. Alcohol opens the gate to drug abuse. Once you are addicted to alcohol, drugs might come along as well.
Social pressures are another cause of alcohol abuse among high school students. Due to the peer pressure, teenagers do things that they do not want to match up with the status quo. Afraid of rejection and wanting to appear mature for their age, teens participate in alcohol consumption to look “cool”.
Unfortunately, these teens end up wasted in the quest for an identity and uncontrolled freedom in pretence of having fun. While the image of drinking may appear cool to some people, getting drunk influences a person to do extremely un-cool things (“High-Risk Drinking in College: What We Know and What We Need to Learn” 1). Also, teenagers who are afraid of being rejected by friends drink in order to maintain the friendship between them.
Alcohol slows the functioning of central nervous system and blocks some of the messages to the brain. These effects are beyond our imagination as the whole biological organs are slowed down with the labor of digesting the toxic chemical in alcohol. The physical effects of alcohol consumption includes difficulty walking, blurred vision, slurred speech, slowed reaction times, and impaired memory.
According to National institute on alcohol abuse and alcoholism alcohol damages the brain, cause blackouts, memory lost, and liver disease (“Alcohol-Induced Liver Disease” 1). Although consuming alcohol may trigger the feeling of joy and relieved stress, the hangovers in the morning is not very lovely and you realize the problems are still there (“Alcohol-Induced Liver Disease” 1).
Drinking is not the right way to escape from reality. The temporarily feeling will of relief never solves the troubles in your life. Alcohol is a depressant when consumed in large quantities and can cause alcohol poisoning which leads to difficulty in breathing, seizures or even death.
Besides, consumption beyond the liver’s ability to process may result in imbalance and injure the liver. Consequently, liver disease may cause persistent bleeding from veins in the esophagus, high blood pressure in the liver, coma, and liver cancer(“Why should I say no to alcohol?.” 3).
The harmful effects of alcohol surpass its benefits. Thus, lower drinking age may be fatal in long run due to brain damage. When high school students start drinking at an earlier age, it will have effects on brain developing, physical, and mental health. Since teens who take alcohol have a higher chance of academic failure, allowing them to access alcohol negates their academic performance (“Risky Business: The Gamble” 1).
As a result of tender drinking age, the brain cannot fully develop making them to be prone to academic failure. The most practical solution to underage drinking is parental involvement in the emotional life of their children. Besides, the government should reinforce law agencies which monitor accessibility of harmful drugs on under age. I addition, hefty fines should be posted on the stores which sell alcohol to under age.
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In conclusion, alcohol remains to be a challenge in the relationship among parents and their teenage children. Drinking comes with many responsibilities and if abused, may ultimately lead to long-term consequences. Alcohol does not only affect ourselves but also people around us.
“Alcohol-Induced Liver Disease.” American Liver Foundation, September 28th, 2007. Web.
“High-Risk Drinking in College: What We Know and What We Need To Learn.” N.p., 9/23/2005. Web.
“Risky Business: The Gamble.” Alcohol Awarness. The University of Lethbridge, January 11,2005. Web15,0CT, 2011.
“Should the drinking age be lowered from 21 to a younger age?.” ProCon.org. N.p., 5/24/2010. Web15,0CT, 2011
“The Nemours Foundation.” Alcohol. N.p., April 2009. Web15,0CT, 2011
“Why should I say no to alcohol?.” Drinking: Facts for Teens. N.p., 11/09. Web15,0CT, 2011