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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!

darth said...
Jun. 8 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 »)
 
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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 »)
 
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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 »)
 
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americanbeauty said...
Apr. 30, 2013 at 11:36 am:
That is really true. I never thought of it that way.
 
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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 »)
 
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sadiakuta12 said...
Oct. 22, 2012 at 9:34 am:
The dangers involved in teen alcoholism outweighs compatimentaling where it affects in our brains
 
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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 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.
 
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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.
 
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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>
 
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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 »)
 
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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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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.
 
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hottyforever said...
Jan. 23, 2012 at 9:30 am:
this site needs to get more articals on life
 
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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 »)
 
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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 »)
 
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