Alcohol And Teenagers A Deadly Mix
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Alcohol And Teenagers: A Deadly Mix Essay, Research Paper Alcohol and Teenagers: A Deadly Mix Most American teenagers drink some time during their high school career. Many see no harm in an occasional drink at a party. In fact many teenagers view alcohol as the rite of passage into adulthood. For this reason, teenagers are dying to drink alcohol. Unfair as the minimum legal drinking age may seem to eighteen-year-olds who feel they are adult enough to drink alcohol, teenagers are not yet mature and responsible enough to handle the effects of drinking alcohol. According to Crittenton Hospital s records, fifty percent of all teenagers seen in the emercency room are from alcohol-related injuries (1). The average teenager takes their first sip of alcohol at the age of thirteen (Crittenton Hospital 1). This is really chilling because of all the harmful effect alcohol has on a young person s body. Alcohol causes problems with the stomach, pancreas, liver and other internal organs. Not to mention what alcohol does to a person while drinking it. Alcohol causes blurred vision, bad breath, it makes a person s face red and puffy, and it makes your stomach bloated. All those empty calories in alcohol can give a person what is called a beer belly . Alcohol robs a person of the ability to think or react. This is why alcohol use among teenagers is related to traffic crashes, drowning, vandalism, assaults, homicides, suicides, teenage pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases, just to name a few. Drunk driving is among the biggest problems associated with irresponsible underage drinking. By driving drunk, a teenager may be ending their life as well as someone else s life. Alcohol affects a driver s performance by reducing reaction time and slowing the decision making process. According to Hingson, traffic crashes are the leading cause of death in the United States for people younger than twenty-five. Forty-one percent of fatal traffic crashes involve a driver or a pedestrian who has been drinking and approximately three in every five Americans will be involved in an alcohol related crash at some point in their lives. (1 Prevention ). Immature teenagers don t take into consideration the price they or their parents might have to pay for drinking and driving. The highest price to pay would be living with the guilt of taking a person s life. But if a teenager gets lucky and doesn t kill anyone they might get pulled over by police, which could result in expensive fines, court costs and an increase in the price of car insurance. Hingson reports that alcohol-related traffic crashes cost society $45 billion annually in hospital costs, rehabilitation expenses and lost productivity (11 Prevention ). There is a bigger concern with teenagers drinking and driving rather than adults because teenagers drive more carelessly. Drivers under the age of twenty-one have less experience in driving and as a group, more often take risks in traffic, such as speeding or failing to wear seatbelts. With all this in mind, it is safe to say that for young drivers, drinking is like throwing gasoline on a fire. Not only is drunk driving a huge concern with immature underage drinkers but homicides, suicides and drowning are also concerns. Crittenton Hospital reports that a sixteen-year-old is more likely to die of an alcohol-related incident than any other cause (1). If underage drinking laws were better enforced by the law enforcement many teenage lives would be saved. A.A.S.T. Webnet Domain has reported that forty-two to sixty-six percent of all homicides, one or both parties involved were under the influence of alcohol (1). In the article, Combating Underage Drinking , it states that alcohol is factor in fifty to sixty-five percent of all suicides among youth (1). Alcohol and a college student is a very costly mix. Many young college students are not yet mature enough to manage school and drinking alcohol.