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Teen Drinking

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“Approximately 5,000 kids, younger than the age 21, die each year in underage drinking incidents.” This was the case when Valeria Rodriguez only 14 years old was killed in a car accident when her boyfriend was driving drunk. “Police say they found a 12-pack of beer and five cans of ‘Four Loko’ in the crashed Chevy Trailblazer that killed Valeria OF Arlington, Texas.” Rodriguez died early Sunday morning when police say her boyfriend, also 14, took his parents’ SUV without permission. Police say the duo picked up 16-year-old friend after a friend’s Quincinera – a 15th birthday party – and together, they decided to head for Oklahoma. They got as far as Denton, Texas when the Chevy Trailblazer hit a guardrail on Interstate 35 near bonnie Brae Street. The SUV went airborne, and then rolled down the steep embankment. Rodriguez, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was thrown from the vehicle and killed at the scene. Many die from drinking and driving every year; it’s just the risk that teens are willing to take. There is a direct cause and effect relationship between teens and teen drinking, and teen deaths.

Peer Pressure is something that every teen deals with at least once in their life. “With everyone around them opting for alcoholic drinks, certain teens may resort to habit as matter of being ‘in’ with the group.”’(Kashimra Lad in Cause of Teen Drinking) Friends are the number one cause of peer pressure. Everyone wants to be able to “fit in” and not be the outsider. So they make decisions, good or bad. “One of the second most common reasons why teenagers drink is because they have watched their parents rely on the bottle.” (Kashimra Lad in Cause of Teen Drinking) During a child’s grow up years; they take on the habits of their parents. When they see their parents drinking after a fight that they just had, that shows the kids that that’s a way to resolve your problems or make them better. Most parents don’t even realize what their actually Teaching their kids. And when those kids grow up its only natural for them to take on those habits they learned, and possibly pass them down to their own children.

Along with the cause of teen drinking, there is also a huge effect. Danger also comes with drinking. There are long-term and short-term effects of alcohol. “Consumption has been linked to more than sixty diseases.”(GreenFacts2006) The effects of alcohol on health and well-being can manifest themselves as chromic disease, accidents and injuries, as well social consequences. Both the amount of alcohol consumed and the pattern of drinking determine whether there will be, biochemical effects on cells and organs in the body, intoxication, or alcohol dependence. People today are well aware of the health problems caused by excessive alcohol consumption. Health problems can include stomach ulcer, liver problems, heart problems, and malnutrition. These problems generally occur in people who have been drinking over a longer period of time and are not always seen in teens, but can result as they grow older if they continue to drink. “Individuals who drink and drive, ages 16 to 20, are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal car crash as those who drink and drive at age of 21 and up.”(EHow) Teenagers without driving experience often overestimate their driving abilities. Those factors, coupled with alcohol abuse, can cause them to take risks such as speeding or engaging in other reckless driving behaviors while intoxicated. Teens think their invisible to dangers that happen all the time. Which is why they are willing to take risks such a drinking and driving. Drinking and driving kills thousands of teens every year.

Alcohol consumption can affect your body inside, as well as out. It can affect your body physically, and in school as well. “The more students drink, the lower grades they tend to get. This was supported by a 1991 study showing that while ‘A’ students averaged 3.6 drinks per week and ‘B’ students 5.5 drinks, ‘C’ students averaged 7.6 drinks per week while ‘D’ or ‘F’ students averaged 10.6”(Alcohol tobacco and other drugs, 1995) Alcohol makes you do things you didn’t even know you would. Your grades start dropping, you’re missing class. Most teens don’t think this will happen to them, which maybe it won’t but more than likely it will. “Physical injuries increase with the level of alcohol consumption.” Alcohol affects your brain which changes your way of thinking. Underage alcohol use is more likely to kill young people. Drinking frequently precedes violent incidents and the severity of the violence is related to the amount of drinking beforehand. Most alcohol leads to unintentional injuries such as traffic accidents.

There is a direct cause and effect relationship between teens, teen drinking, and teen deaths. Drinking is a choice, some choose to drink, some choose not to. Some can handle it but down the road it gets harder and harder. It’s your own self judgment call. If drinking has affected your life, or someone you love negatively, then change it. If drinking is an occasional, once in a while thing that you like to do, then you just have to be smart and make good choices. Alcohol can become a very serious problem faster than you’ll realize that’s why you have to know all the facts before making a decision.



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