Plague of Ignorance

March 25, 2009
By Anonymous

A plague that afflicts many teens, from as young as thirteen, has been sweeping the nation. It takes countless lives, causes obesity and liver problems, as well as social problems. Many teens consume a plethora of a foul tasting liquid substance willingly; saying, “It helps me with my depression” or “It helps me meet people.” The substance that these teens consume is called alcohol and the plague is ignorance.

Alcoholic beverages, such as beer, are made from ethanol. Ethanol is a depressant, so when teens drink to cure their depression, they inadvertently amplify it. Then, in trying to rid themselves of their sorrows that have been magnified, they drink more until they have drunk themselves into an inebriated stupor and cannot at that moment recall why they were ever depressed in the first place. However, it is only temporary because when they wake up the next morning the problems that were drowned will resurface along with a new problem: a hangover.

In addition to the dreaded hangovers, teens that consistently partake in drinking exorbitant amounts of alcohol set themselves up for chronic dehydration and obesity and if continued for an extended amount of time, liver problems.
Alcohol is diuretic, meaning it causes people to urinate and since alcohol is not water, the body gets rid of water that has been stored in the body. When enough alcohol has been consumed and the body is lacking water to keep it hydrated, the body then tells the brain that they need water. One problem is that most people think that alcohol is water (Alcohol is C2H5OH and water is H2O), so they keep drinking it. Another problem is that three out of ten people mistake thirst for hunger and so they eat a lot and gain weight. Alcohol also causes a loss of potassium which contributes to thirst, muscle cramps, and dizziness.
Alcohol contributes largely to obesity. While one drink won’t hurt, 5-15 beers, even if they are low calorie, will. Low calorie beers’ caloric content varies depending on the brand but still averages around 90 calories per can. So, if a teen were to drink five beers at a party during the weekend that makes 450 calories on top of their normal diet which is usually 2000 calories which gives a total of 2450 calories for that day. The average metabolism is 2000 calories per day which leaves 450 extra calories to be stored as fat; 3500 calories is equal to one pound of body fat, showing that the more drinks ingested on top of the normal diet will lead to increased body weight.
Those that choose to drink large amounts of alcohol should do so at their own discretion. Beer only serves to magnify one’s depression and it causes them to gain weight which could potentially lead to more depression and drinking. Peer pressure and depression are not excuses to go binge drinking due to alcohol being a very temporary solution to a problem and causing even more problems.

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