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The Dangers Associated With Alcohol Consumption in Youth

Posted Apr 06 2013 10:07pm
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Although most states have age limitations when it comes to selling alcohol, many crafty teenagers and under-aged people still manage to get their hands on booze. This can create some potentially devastating effects, especially to the health and well-being of the young drinker. To prevent under-aged drinking, one must first understand the dangers associated with such undertakings.

It is a reality, and a sad one, that many teenagers don’t just drink, they drink excessively. Based on studies, over 18% of students engage in binge drinking. Statistics also indicate that the majority of present teenage drinkers got drunk in the recent month. This includes roughly half of sophomores who drink and more than 60% of seniors who drink. Another alarming report, one according to the U.S. Surgeon General, is that more than 4,500 teenagers under the age of 21 pass away each year with the prime causative factor to be drinking. Many involve car crashes, suicides, and homicides. These effects alone should suffice to implement heavier penalties and laws to stop under-aged drinkers. A more thorough and accurate look at the effects is appropriate, however.

Car crashes remain the leading cause of death for individuals aged 15 to 20 years old. Around 1,800 minors die yearly from vehicle crashes involving intoxication. Young people become more prone to alcohol-induced impairment and lose their driving skills. Based on studies, drinking drivers belonging in the teenager group are twice more susceptible to fatal car accidents compared to drinking drivers who are 21 years of age or beyond.

Alcohol abuse in the youth activates and develops psychological conditions including depression and stress. According to reports, more than 250 teens commit suicide every year, all of which engaged in binge drinking. High school students who drink increase their chances of seriously considering suicide by twice as opposed to non-drinking peers. This likelihood increases by up to four times when they drink in excess.

Young drinkers are twice or more likely to have had sex within the last 2 months than peers who do not drink at all. Alcohol apparently diminishes a person’s ability to think hence they easily perform activities they wouldn’t have with a sober mind. Young drinkers are also more likely to participate in dangerous sexual activities including sexual intercourse with unacquainted partners, failure to use birth control, etc. This can lead to the contraction of AIDS, which as we all know is still incurable.

Students who drink frequently and in excess tend to perform poorly in academics. Many fail to submit projects and assignments on time, get failing marks on tests and subjects, and are often absent, which all culminate to getting kicked out from school or, at the very least, repeating semesters thus delaying progress.
The dangers linked to alcohol consumption in youth is something all people should be working to stop. As the famous proverb goes, “the youth is the future”, so what will become of society if our future can’t make decisions

Jason Harter is an addiction counselor who obtained his degree from one of the  Top 10 Best Online Addiction Counseling Degree Programs

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