Teen Drinking This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

Have you ever been offered an alcoholic beverage? What about someone saying “Don’t worry, just have one little sip”? Most people have their first drink by the time they’re 13. That first drink can be the start of a troubled life.

Drinking can make teens feel good, but that lasts only a short time. Teenagers on shows like “Gossip Girl” or “Degrassi” get drunk regularly, but those shows rarely ­explore the problems alcohol can cause. ­Alcohol clouds your brain and hinders your ability to make decisions. Excessive drinking literally makes your brain shrink and can cause serious damage. Binge drinking can cause learning disabilities and damage your memory. It distorts your ­vision and leads to blackouts. Teenagers often think that drinking will give you more energy, but alcohol isn’t an energy drink; it’s a depressant.

Drinking alcohol affects your inhibitions and makes you do things you wouldn’t if you were sober. Many girls get pregnant and drop out of school because they make the mistake of drinking too much and having unprotected sex. Twelve percent of 15- to 17-year-olds reported having unprotected sex when drinking or using drugs. Also, 24 percent said that because of drinking or drugs they had “done more” sexually than they had intended.

Sometimes girls don’t have a choice. Rape also happens when people drink too much. It only takes one night to mess up your life.

Drinking and driving is one of the top causes of death for teen boys. An alcohol-­related motor vehicle crash kills one person every 33 minutes and injures someone every two minutes. The rate of teenagers driving drunk is so high that the government is trying to pass new laws restricting teen driving.

When we get to high school, friends start pressuring us to drink. High school students see alcohol as glamorous and a way to become popular. I created a survey at my school. Twenty-four of the 63 respondents predicted they would drink in high school. Eleven said maybe, and 28 said they don’t plan on drinking.

Regardless of what they say now, things can change. Teens starting high school want to fit in. They ­often go from being top dog in junior high to being “fresh meat.” Some people will do anything to be accepted, including potentially hurting themselves. They think that one drink won’t do anything. A little bit of alcohol probably won’t kill you, but it can lead to poor decisions.

I’ve been pressured to do many things, ­including drinking. Drinking causes you to be vulnerable; be safe. High school is the time to experiment with what you want to do in life, but if you’re experimenting with alcohol you could hurt someone, including ­yourself.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 159 comments. Post your own now!

Stalker_Panda said...
Jan. 9 at 12:10 am
A lot of times you dont even know youre doing it. Drinking with a bad stepdad by the age of 7 or 8 is pretty typical around here. Alcoholism is taught, its nice knowing people still care about our generationa s awhole, even us troubled ones. Well written, thank you.
mplo said...
Jun. 3, 2016 at 7:30 am
Very good, well-researched and well-written article, Sara B. Thank you.
GG_LeBodeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 13, 2015 at 10:40 am
I love the research put into this! It Shows the problem from a scientific perspective. Perhaps as a second draft, in order to make it more compelling and relatable, you could focus it around an antic dote of your own experiences with alcohol and/or binge drinking.
Gavin.L said...
Feb. 23, 2015 at 3:05 pm
people who drink are trying to get their problems away but it only makes it worse this is such a bad world filled with bad people but good people are doing the right thing
darth said...
Jun. 8, 2014 at 8:57 pm
Couple things: 1) High school IS the time to experiment. When do You want to experiment later and how do You get the expertise? While working and raising kids? Most people who do drugs (any kind, including alcohol) in school do them very rarely or stop completly after graduation. 2) Author tries to divide the audience into "us" (cool kids, who refuse fun because mom says so), and "some people" (guys who will kill themselves in crashes and girls who will get pregnant and d... (more »)
yoda replied...
Dec. 1, 2014 at 8:29 pm
Yeah, what are you even doing on this site?  byyyeeee hater
sbanimefreak said...
Nov. 22, 2013 at 11:14 am
You are totally right about this! I just scrolled down the comments and I noticed some people going on and off about how alcohol isnt as bad, or how you make it sound too evil. But, the moment you start denying that something, wether it'd be beer or weed or whatever, isn't as bad as it seems... you are just putting an excuse for it. Beer is proved scientifically to be damaging to our brain and bodyand If we start treating smoking weed or doing any other drugs... just like the m... (more »)
The_Health_Radical said...
Oct. 30, 2013 at 11:39 am
This is a god article, well constructed, but the problem I have with it is that the statistics provided are almost irrelevant to the topic. Such as the people dying from alcohol car accidents every 33 minutes. I assume a teenager is someone who is still in high school. This statistic doesn't distinguish adults from teenagers. I know in Texas, you can not drive til you are 16 with a permit. So you basically have to have your parents in the car with you and any parent with common sense would n... (more »)
americanbeauty said...
Apr. 30, 2013 at 11:36 am
That is really true. I never thought of it that way.
lgia said...
Oct. 25, 2012 at 9:34 pm
  When you are a teen you may have the urge to do what your friends are doing, because it is the cool thing to do to fit in. You shouldn’t be influenced and pressured to do things you don’t agree with and feel that it is wrong or unmoral. The long-term effects of teen drinking are much more dangerous than you think when taking your first sip of alcohol. Since your brain isn’t fully developed at a young age it can damage it forever. A recent study where scientist compared... (more »)
sadiakuta12 said...
Oct. 22, 2012 at 9:34 am
The dangers involved in teen alcoholism outweighs compatimentaling where it affects in our brains
ToxicAngel This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 18, 2012 at 4:59 am
Listen, alcohol isn't as evil as you're making it sound. I mean, 9 million children and teens ages 6 - 19 are overweight, according to www.getamericafit.org/, but I don't see anyone else writing an article warning them not to experiment with twinkies and ho-hos. I'm sorry if I'm coming off rude, but this topic is a bit redundant and drinking isn't as bad as you're making is sound. Take it from me, someone who has struggled with addiction and gone through hell for more... (more »)
darth replied...
Jun. 8, 2014 at 8:25 pm
Great idea, I'll write an article on twinkies and oreos beaing "entry level sweets" followed by diabetes II and deathrate statistics of obese people.
JoshuaChen said...
Aug. 13, 2012 at 11:13 pm
Alcoholism does not cause the entire brain to shrink, only the hippocampus. When in doubt, use Google. Even a small factual error like that makes the reader doubt your credibility and, as a result, your entire argument.
Alex said...
Mar. 9, 2012 at 9:33 am
Well, as a teen before it is quite hard to resits drinking too. <a http://www.learn2serve.co.uk/online-responsible-alcohol-retailing-certification">alcohol retailing</a>
jacqueline31 said...
Feb. 19, 2012 at 12:08 pm
I think the only problem I have with this piece is that it comes off very black and white. A situation like drinking, especially for teens, is not blank and white. There are many shades of gray depending on which teen, because all teens are different, just like adults. I live in Marin County. It has the highest binge drinking rate for teens in the country. When I go to parties, the scene of the party is not socializing and having fun with people, it's the actual drinking. How many shots can you... (more »)
PoetryAngel14 replied...
Mar. 24, 2012 at 5:16 pm
I completely agree!
ToxicAngel This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 18, 2012 at 4:40 am
I also completely agree!!!
MamaBear24 replied...
Nov. 26, 2012 at 7:06 pm
I have to say, i do NOT agree with the phrase "it's part of growing up" because it is not. Teens choose to make it part of their lives. I am 18 and I have never been drunk or tipsy. Yes, I have taken sips but I can control myself. If I can, others can also. I think underage drinking is pointless. If you experience everything as a teen, by the time you're 21, what do you have to look forward to? So, I have to say, it's not  part of growing up. It's just a decision a... (more »)
KPetty13 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 19, 2012 at 8:51 am
What I don't understand is people know drinking is bad. We've been lectured about it in school since Kindergarden. So, why are people continuing to drink?
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