Teenage Alcholism Essay Research Paper Most teenagers

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Teenage Alcholism Essay, Research Paper Most teenagers today are using the “most abused drug,” alcohol. Four percent of college students drink alcohol daily. Nearly half of college students are binge drinkers (Facts and Statistics, www.glness.com/ndhs/stats.html). Of the teenagers that do drink, 39% say that they drink alone, 58% say that they drink when they are upset, 30% say that they drink when they are bored, and 37% say that they drink to feel high (Troubled Drink, www.alcoholismhelp.com/help/youth/letter2.html). Most people think that teenagers do no start drinking until they are in their late teens. However, Wilbur Cross (1979) says that most teens have had experiences with alcohol by the time they are thirteen. This is definitely a problem with today’s youth

that needs to be solved. Before we can solve this problem, we need to find out why teens drink, teach teens what the effects of drinking alcohol are, and find out what to do to stop teens from drinking. The first thin that we need to find out is why teenagers are drinking. One of the biggest reasons teens drink is peer pressure. Teens want to gain acceptance from the popular group so they try to look cool by doing what the other kids are doing, drinking (North & Orange, 1980). Teenagers think that the people having the most fun are the people that are drinking (Cross, 1979). Teenagers can overcome this pressure if their self esteem is high enough to stand up to their friends and tell them no. It is very hard and takes a lot of courage for teens to stand up to their friends

(Cross, 1979). Another type of pressure can come form the teenager’s parents. Parents can pressure teens in two ways. The first way is by disapproving of what the teen is doing. A lot of teenagers that drink heavily have parents that strongly disapprove of teens drinking, even though the parents drink themselves. These teens rebel against their parents by hiding their drinking habit (North & Orange, 1980). The highest incidence of alcoholism occurs among children whose parents are alcoholics (North & Orange, 1980, p.40). Another way teens are influenced by their parents is if they are exposed to this type of lifestyle for most of their lives. The teens grow up thinking that this is a normal and grown up way of life. The teens start drinking because they want to be grown

up like their parents (North & Orange, 1980). Parents have a bigger influence on their children’s lives than they realize. Another reason why teenagers drink is because they have the “it won’t happen to me” attitude (Cross, 1979). Teens do not think that they can become alcoholics by just drinking at parties during the weekend. What these teens do not realize is that although it may take years for an adult to go from a social drinker to an alcoholic, a teenager can make the change within a years time, faster if they are using other drugs (Cross, 1979). According to North and Orange (1980) the media plays a large role in why teens chose to drink. I agree with their conclusion. Every place you turn, on television, in magazines, or even driving down the road, you see

advertisements for alcohol. The people in the ads are always smiling and having fun. Beer companies spend between $15-$20 million a year to advertise to college students (Facts and Statistics, www.glness.com/ndhs/stats.html). The ads do not show what can happen while you are under the influence of alcohol or how you will feel in the morning. We always see celebrities at parties with a drink in their hand. This shows teenagers that they do not just act like they drink, it is their lifestyle. Why wouldn’t a teen want to drink when they see their favorite movie or rock star drinking? These stars are cool and popular, so teens might associate that the alcohol makes them this way (North & Orange, 1980). It all boils down to teenagers want to be “cool”. They will do whatever