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!

DifferentTeen said...
Jan. 28, 2012 at 10:08 pm
For me, I've gorwn up around alcohol. Not as being an addicitve substance, but it was always there at parties and holidays. Sure, my borhters friends came over and got (really) drunk and would pass out. But that was a part of my childhood, and nothing out of the ordinary. I'm not saying kids should definately drink, but if they like the taste than I don't see it as a aproblem if its done every now and then. Now, if its being abused then something should be done. But I was raised for it to be tre... (more »)
ToxicAngel This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 18, 2012 at 4:42 am
Me too. I agree. Drinking can be bad, but it can be a good thing too. Nearly all good things can be abused.
hottyforever said...
Jan. 23, 2012 at 9:30 am
this site needs to get more articals on life
Rainfall74 said...
Jan. 8, 2012 at 1:31 pm
Reading through the comments, I found that there was a lot of arguments about this topic being overused, and done a million times before. I come from a family who is prone to addictive drinking. Although most of my family members are sober now, all it took was to see the pain in my cousins' faces when they were taken away from my Aunt because of unsafe living environments when she was addicted. Even though my Aunt was an adult, her life still got very screwed up. She is sober now and has her kid... (more »)
absolutelymiserable said...
Jan. 8, 2012 at 11:33 am
Though what you say isn't wrong, it isn't super helpful either. People have been saying the same thing to me (in school) about alcohol since seventh grade. The thing is, I was NOT pressured to pick up my first drink. Nor were any of my friends. Sure, the media plays its part, and I guess so do social circumstances, but overall I think we just wanted to have fun. Having fun sounds like such a stupid explanation, but it is very human to want a little escape. It's like when you watch crappy tv; you... (more »)
pinkpeteypye replied...
Jan. 15, 2012 at 8:56 pm
I understand what you mean about being up on a pedestal. Personally I am against drinking and drug usage but a lot of my friends do it, and when I ridicule them its because I'm worried about them. We're not trying to make anyone feel bad on purpose, we're just worried about our loved ones. What you said about us trying to understand the urges though... I completely understand. Sure, I've been tempted to drink. Nobody's tried to pressure me because of their views but of course I've been at partie... (more »)
Headphones said...
Jan. 6, 2012 at 11:54 pm
I am against drinking and doing drugs. I vowed not to do those things a long time ago because I have seen and heard of the effects of them. It may seem fun, but when you or someone you know is hurt becuase of it, the fun disappears. Drinking and doing drugs hinders a person's ability to make correst decisions because their brain cannot function properly while under the influence. I completely agree that teenagers should say no to drugs and alcohol. The consequences of such activity are not pleas... (more »)
matador said...
Nov. 23, 2011 at 10:32 am
personaly, I see nothing wrong with drinking. it's fun. and some people are just too shy, so when they drink, they're more sociable. there is nothing wrong with being a little crazy every now and then. justa sayin'.
ecramer.2013 replied...
Jan. 6, 2012 at 9:07 am
did you not just read those statistics?
DifferentTeen replied...
Jan. 28, 2012 at 10:11 pm
I agree with Matador.
ToxicAngel This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 18, 2012 at 4:43 am
I also agree with Matador.
videotaped This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 1, 2011 at 3:54 pm
It's not particularly snappy or well-written, but it's not necessarily bad. Degrassi does tend to show kids drinking, but it's certainly much more informative than shows like Gossip Girl are. Additionally, keep an eye out for your numbers - you say "twenty-four percent of 62 respondants" or some such - typically, nubers above 10 are spelled out, and never ever ever mix spelling and numerals (like twenty-four and 62) in the same sentence, because it's jarring. If you do have a conflice, and one i... (more »)
Sarahhhhhhh This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 1, 2011 at 10:51 am
Way to oversimplify a really complicated issue, hun. Just because we're teens doesn't mean we need to write like a 12-year-old. Elevate your thinking and consider other factors, maybe consult other sources. This would never cut it as actual journalism -- think of new things you can tell your audience about this (very done, very tired) subject!
ThePeaceDaisy replied...
Nov. 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm
Way to be rude. I thought it was great and I agree with the piece wholeheartedly. You can never, EVER tire out the problems of a situation like this.
NYClove13 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 10, 2011 at 2:44 pm
Nice editorial(: I agree with you completlely.
liddygw said...
Sept. 18, 2011 at 2:57 pm
Important piece.
Flipol said...
Sept. 16, 2011 at 10:39 am
I totally understand what the article is saying....I feel that a lot of the time, teens are pressured a lot and that may cause an increase in the amount of teens that drink. I also believe that when teens see older people drinking and everything, they tend to follow what they see....over all...great article....
purplelessskin said...
Jul. 20, 2011 at 3:56 pm
Very true. It's a big problem. There are exceptions though. Like just drinking a few sips of wine a night with your parents for the taste. I think that if you have a safe environment like that and you don't have much that it can actually be beneficial because it makes it not new, mysterious, and temping, which is probably a reason why a lot of teens drink.
TrixyDev said...
May 31, 2011 at 12:11 pm
theres nothing wrong with being curious.... and u know, not all people do it to b cool.
FoxGloveFlowerxxx replied...
Jun. 22, 2011 at 12:27 am
I think so to. And everyone thinks now'a'days that kids are dumb enough to ' go with the flow.' Well, Teens actual now do it to feel more mature, being curious , or because they feel stressed. I have experimented. I learned a lesson or two. Nice peice though.
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