Youth Risks due to Early Alcohol Consumption

October 27, 2010
By , Mogadore, OH
You probably all know a youth whose drank; in fact you may even be one. The parties Saturday night and you and all your friends are invited. Rumor going around, saying that there will be alcohol there, but it is all just fun. When does fun go too far? Is it worth the risk? With our friends and peers consuming alcohol at an underage these days, youths have to realize that the prevalence, risk factors, including psychological risk factors, and consequences of youth drinking are constantly rising.

Youth drinking is more prevalent than most know or would care to know, for that matter. The number of youths who have or do drink alcohol at an adolescent age is higher than ever before. According to Gale Viewpoints, 26% of 8th graders, 40% of 10th graders and 51% of 12th graders have said to have drunk alcohol in the last month. High school students also stated that sickness, missing work or school, getting arrested, and car crashes all resulted from drinking. These large statistics are not very reassuring do not have very reassuring results because of the decisions some students made.

As each day passes the risk factors skyrocket for adolescents who take part in the consumption of alcohol. Although anxiety and depression have not been proven, they have been related to the alcohol abuse among youths (Gale). Students who have grown up around alcohol run a higher risk of drinking earlier on in life than those who don’t grow up around it. Likewise, those who have a close relationship with their parents do not drink at an early age; the results lower drastically (Gale). Life is stressful enough for us teens, let alone adding anxiety and depression to the mix because of our decision to drink alcohol. By simply trying to stay away from it and having a closer relationship with our parents, we allow ourselves the opportunity to not drink at a young age.

There are also countless psychological risk factors involved when youths drink alcohol. According to Gale, studies show that when parents are involved in communicating and monitoring their children, the risk of youths drinking goes down. It is said that when adolescents have been physically or sexually abused, victims or witnesses of violence, or other traumatic situations, they will be more likely to drink than those who have not gone through this. Alcohol advertising has also show to have an effect on youth drinking. There are simple steps that can be taken to limit why youths consume alcohol.

As we all know there are consequences to every decision and situation that we as teens are faced with, some greater than others. When youths drink alcohol it can make them take part in activities that they would normally never do under regular circumstances. Students who had consumed alcohol were said to have participated in risky sexual behavior that they otherwise would never do under sober conditions. Not only risky sexual behavior, but risky behavior period is linked to students who have consumed alcohol (Gale). We must learn to live without alcohol or we will watch our loved ones die drinking.
I ask you again, is it worth the risk? These are our friends, these are our peers, and these are our fellow students that take part in this. Even with all the drastic results and consequences we still drink. The results can be life altering and even fatal. With 8,000 teens from 15 years old to 20 years old killed in car crashes in 1995, 20% had a blood alcohol content over zero (Gale). The amount of teens will continue to grow, the risk factors will get higher, and the consequences will always get steeper, but students will continue to drink before age 21. But you don’t have to be one of them. It’s not worth the risk.





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