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!

zck31 said...
Jan. 19, 2011 at 7:20 am
drinking and doing drugs can mess up your head. i remember when i broke my ankle the doctor gave me some pain relievers. the were so powerful i actually fell backwards into the bathtub when i got up to go. i threw up too. i never want to get high if it feels like that
zack31 replied...
Feb. 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm
send me some grass and ill let u know
Apocalypse18 replied...
Apr. 17, 2011 at 5:56 pm
You guys are terrible.
ohsopoisonous replied...
Apr. 18, 2011 at 1:35 pm
I don't see a problem if it's a couple sips, not a strong enough beverage to get you too tipsy. I've had liquor before, being only 13, I only tried it for taste. I liked the taste. Haven't had it since. Just because you try it doesn't mean you're going to end up being hardcore on it.
xAMWxDR1ZZYxX43 replied...
May 9, 2011 at 8:38 am
true that good point lol
lizzie replied...
May 31, 2011 at 2:50 pm

haha...good luck in life hun..bein high feels nothin like that

hope your ankle is better though!

Israel70717 said...
Dec. 13, 2010 at 3:54 pm
It is good to know these facts about teen drinking. I have drank a lot in the past but i stopped a while back. I didnt know nothing about the facts that you put on here but know I am glad that I dont drink no more thank you!!! (:
wendell15 said...
Dec. 13, 2010 at 12:21 pm
Alcohol can be dangerous, especially when teenagers drink and drive. Drinking can be a bad start in life, even when teens start drinking at a young age. I do agree that drinking and driving is one of the top ten causes of death. In my way of thinking, drinking is disgusting and gross. I wouldn't drink even if I were offered. Alcohol can danger a person's brain cells, and can cause them to do crazy things.
Kaitlyn14 said...
Dec. 7, 2010 at 12:17 pm
I am 14 and in high school, and I believe I was actually 11 years old when i got offered my first alcoholic drink. I went to a party with my dad because he didn't want to leave me home alone. And one of his buddies offered me a drink and when it was in my hands i stared at it, and then threw it on the ground. I didn't know who gave it to me, or what the drink was.
ElectroMagneticPulse replied...
Mar. 26, 2011 at 10:01 am

wow - good for you!

I recall that when i was little i always hated the smell even though i wasn't even sure on what it was. I don't know if it's just me - but even when you don't know the awful affects of alcohol, i think it would seem disgusting anyway. Because i've never had people try to pressure me into taking it, i shouldn't talk, but still...

introducingshelby replied...
Jun. 22, 2011 at 10:22 am
And yeah.. You're right. Alcohol is kind of nasty smelling. Smoke isn't any better. My neighbor gave me and a friend "lemonade," at a block party and it turns out it was margarita. It tasted like gasoline smells. |:
KPPPP said...
Dec. 6, 2010 at 8:31 pm

hahaha BOO YOU.

This is a very nice educational piece of work. But if one insists on drinking, so be it. Ever tried looking at the upside to drinking? It releases tension, it makes you happy if you are around friends, and (this isn't a serious point) if there is a guy/girl you are crushing on, it will give you the guts to actually make a move! 

Now, I agree, it can get out of hand. Take that from someone that has had their fair share of passing out and throwing up.

W... (more »)

thecatch replied...
Feb. 10, 2011 at 1:25 pm
wow. first of all, there is no upsides to something that is short lived(pleasurable) because you will keep wanting more, and to much can make you sick. Drinking will never bring out who you really are. It only brings out the stupidity in yourself to take that drink in the first place to get yourself that drunk. And why would someone ever want a person to confess that they have a crush on them when they are drunk? Sure, it makes you relaxed but it's not you. Yes, it can get out of hand and addict... (more »)
disneyprincess:) replied...
Jun. 22, 2011 at 9:57 am
@ thecatch: I understand that you KPPPP doesn't impress you by saying she got drunk, threw up and passed out. (S)he may be recognizing the fact that (s)he has made mistakes (haven't we all?) but has indeed learned from those mistakes. If KPPPP isn't drinking anymore, good for him/her. Either way, I am grateful that (s)he chose to share her experience. Two of the greatest people in my life nearly died because of drinking. neither of them drin now. I love hearing them talk about how their life has... (more »)
thecatch replied...
Jun. 26, 2011 at 2:41 pm
I'm glad for your friends and its great that they share the how their lives have changed, to prevent teens from drinking. The only problem I had is that KPPPP is saying that drinking has a good side. Ask your friends who once were drinking if it does have a good side to it. So far all I have heard is bad accidents. Anthing that man makes is bad. Think about it.
disneyprincess:) replied...
Jun. 26, 2011 at 5:35 pm
Thinking... man made clothes... Those are pretty good. And the idea of educating the young. And paper. And pens. And books. Man has made lots of good things. But aside from that, I do think that having a drink or two every once in a while I fine for adults. This article does target teen drinking, but you argued that drinking itself is always bad.
DifferentTeen replied...
Jan. 28, 2012 at 10:15 pm
Agreed with KPPPP here. I'm 14 and have been drunk before. I had no problem seeing clearly and making decisions. I even helped make a bed for other people who passed out. It wasn't a problem for me. All being drunk was for me, was letting me relax and lossen up a bit. It didn't make me act stupid at all.
TheLegacyLives said...
Dec. 6, 2010 at 11:43 am
Degrassi is actually a pretty good and educational high school drama, and it definitely does show the adverse affects that teenage drinking tends to inflict on adolescents. Nice article, but I think that the piece itself could have had more interest added to it, it merely seemed to bluntly state facts that teenagers have heard a million times about alcohol consumption. There are various things you could do in your next writing pieces to make the point you are presenting ... (more »)
Haleyelizabeth replied...
Dec. 6, 2010 at 3:01 pm
I agree. I watch Degrassi often. I used to think it was a bad show, showing people what highschool should be like. My friend finally got me into it. I now understand that it is trying to teach young people about the dangers of alcohol, drugs, unprotected sex, everything. It is defiantly a good show to watch.  
RixxRebellion replied...
Mar. 17, 2011 at 2:43 pm
I love Degrassi. Honestly, it's basically just like my school. I've been through and put into about 80% of the situations on the show. It's really drama filled, but I love it at the same time. (:
6poke9 said...
Nov. 20, 2010 at 7:05 pm
i like this article. honestly i dont think that a little sip once and a while is horrable (even though i have never drunk before) but i do think that if you have to much that it can lead to bad mistakes. drinking is one of those things that people, as you can see from the comments above, people have total mixed opions on. it is a free choice if you want to drink or not (as long as you are of the age that is) but, the author does make a good point of what can happen when alchole is abused. even t... (more »)
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