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

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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 154 comments. Post your own!

jessie-w said...
Sept. 22, 2009 at 1:31 pm:
I agree also. I made the mistake of drinking and I did something I regretted. I lost a best friend and my reputation of being smart, level headed and right, and you can never take it back once it's happened
 
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hannah=(= said...
Aug. 1, 2009 at 4:48 pm:
I completely agree, excessive drinking only causes bad things.
 
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=D said...
Jun. 30, 2009 at 4:39 am:
i think a lot of ur article is tru...it brings some good topics up but i agree with the comment "everyday" wrote. I used to be a very heavy drinker, luckly i had ppl around me who cared enuf about me to make me stop. Yes a lot of this kind of stuff happens but not necessarily the way u describe.
 
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Rae C said...
Jun. 23, 2009 at 8:20 pm:
I agree 100 percent with Sarah B.’s article “Teen Drinking.” Really, what is the point? Just to be in with the “in” crowd?

I’m from Delaware, and recently a college student at the University of Delaware died from alcohol poisoning while trying to be part of a fraternity. That is truly sad. No one needs to drink to fit in. My advice to teens is just put the bottle down and let people accept you for who you are.
 
Allie97 replied...
Apr. 27, 2010 at 4:37 pm :
This comment is totally perfect!!! Good job!
 
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mickey123 said...
Feb. 3, 2009 at 3:42 pm:
this is supposed to have pics on it but it doesnt!!!
 
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meatball101 said...
Dec. 10, 2008 at 1:31 am:
I agree with the previous comment......
 
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arbanlovescheese said...
Oct. 22, 2008 at 5:25 pm:
I LOVE TEEN INK DOT COM!!!! WOOOOOO
 
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everyday said...
Oct. 19, 2008 at 6:36 pm:
Here's the thing. This sounds like it came word-for-word out of a health teacher's mouth who hasn't done any real research on the topic.

Alcohol is bad for you, yes. And teenagers, especially younger ones, should not be drinking. I agree with you that much. However, acting like a drink will ruin your life just makes teenagers roll their eyes.

You discuss peer pressure here - this type of peer pressure barely exists the way it does on those TV shows you ment... (more »)
 
epingel replied...
Sept. 22, 2009 at 1:42 pm :
I think that drinking is definitely a bad idea and i think it could take just one drink to mess things up. You may not be able to get into a collage you want. You may even kill someone if you drink & drive.
 
PurpleFeather replied...
Sept. 22, 2009 at 3:42 pm :
I disagree with what you said. Having just one drink could lead to poor decisions, and it coud ruin your life. Even though other teens may choose to ignore this advice, it doesn't mean it's not true. Also, i have read lots of stories and heard lots of stories, all of them true, about people who were pressured to drink or something else. It does happen, and although yes, tv does exaggerate, not everything on tv is untrue just because its on tv.
 
Allie97 replied...
Apr. 27, 2010 at 4:41 pm :
When people are drunk they dont really realize what they are doing and they might do something unthinkable....this comment be 'everday' was really inaccurate in my opinion
 
OutOfTheDarkness replied...
Nov. 23, 2011 at 5:18 pm :
I agree with Everyday
 
lgee replied...
Oct. 26, 2012 at 8:40 am :
    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... (more »)
 
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