Teen Drinking MAG

By Sarah Benett, Los Gatos, CA

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.

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This article has 159 comments.

wendell15 said...
on Dec. 13 2010 at 12:21 pm
wendell15, Plaquemine, Louisiana
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments
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...
on 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.

KPPPP said...
on 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.

What drinking comes down to, is who YOU are. If you are responsible and safe while sober, then while you are drunk you will most likely maintain those characteristics and make the right choices.

On the other hand, if you are a crazy idiot while sober, the same will apply while drunk.

And if you choose to get in the car with a drunk driver, or choose to drive drunk, then you are just stupid. That isn't the alcohol hindering your decision making, that is just you being flat out stupid.

on Dec. 6 2010 at 3:01 pm
Haleyelizabeth, Wallingford, Vermont
0 articles 0 photos 25 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If it's meant to be, it'll happen."

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.  

on Dec. 6 2010 at 11:43 am
TheMagnificantLamp, Miami, Florida
0 articles 0 photos 29 comments
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 fascinating towards the audience you are trying to reach, rather than just a dull informational piece.

6poke9 said...
on Nov. 20 2010 at 7:05 pm
0 articles 0 photos 4 comments
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 though we have all heard what can happen when you drink to much i think that the statistics do put it in a new perspective. well done!

on Nov. 16 2010 at 11:08 am
This book explains the efeect of teens drinking.

on Nov. 14 2010 at 6:53 pm
AgnotTheOdd GOLD, Aptos, California
17 articles 0 photos 315 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The reason for your unreasonable treatment of my reason so enfeebles my reason that I have reason to complain of your reason" ~ Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

No way.  Alcohol is bad?


 There wasn't anything original in this article.  It's been done billions of times.  I also disagree when you say that we all shouldnt drink.  I dont drink.  Ill have a sip or two and then it just tastes like medicine and I dont like it.  But I dont think we should tell others not to do something.  Especially something we've all heard millions of times.  if anything we should lower the drinking age, raise the driving age.  That way wed have less cars on the road and more money coming in from taxed alcohol.

on Nov. 14 2010 at 5:10 pm
TasteDaSkittles BRONZE, Bayfield, Colorado
3 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"dream on"

i agree 95%. but the other 5% is that it is their choice not ours and i hope they read ur article so they are inspired by it. great job and i hope that your righting makes a difference!

on Nov. 14 2010 at 9:16 am
ExtrovertedIntrovert, Grantsburg, Wisconsin
0 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know" -Hemmingway,
"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist. That is all." -Oscar Wilde,
"It was just that; a character, a person I aspired to be." -Anonymous

Not to undermine your opinion, but teenagers and alcohol DO mix. I think it's the realization that they SHOULD not mix that will make the difference.

-And it's not all about resisting alcohol from friends; if you have those types of friends, you should really re-think everything in the first place. 

Nickypoo17 said...
on Nov. 11 2010 at 9:11 am
Nickypoo17, Cleveland, Ohio
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
I agree with this article. Drinking does make you unaware or makes you think about doing things that you wouldn't normally think it. It makes you want to go wild and do whatever which is not safe. I totally agree with everything that you said in this article.

winkerdinker said...
on Nov. 5 2010 at 2:31 pm
BLAH BLAH BLAH. i like cheese

mgb405 BRONZE said...
on Oct. 28 2010 at 12:05 pm
mgb405 BRONZE, Plaquemine, 70764, Louisiana
1 article 0 photos 5 comments
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.

drf409 BRONZE said...
on Oct. 28 2010 at 11:52 am
drf409 BRONZE, Plaquemine, Louisiana
2 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The most beautiful things in life can't be touched but it must be felt with the heart." -UNKNOWN

I can relate to this article because, I once was pressured to drink when I entered high school by a couple of my friends. I was smart enough to turn them down. I don't understand why teenagers find drinking or doing drugs fun. It's not fun; it'll mess up your life for good.

kmb404 said...
on Oct. 28 2010 at 11:43 am
kmb404, Plaquemine, Louisiana
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments
I agree 100% -- teens and alcohol do not mix. Teens do not think when they are drunk, and  they end up doing what they will regret. Every body gets pressured into drinking, but it takes that one strong person to say "no thanks." Drinking and driving is what causes most teen deaths. 

403jaa BRONZE said...
on Oct. 28 2010 at 11:37 am
403jaa BRONZE, Plaquemine, Louisiana
2 articles 0 photos 5 comments
I agree totally; drinking can lead to physical and mental changes in the body.This explains the cliche of "drinking is not for everyone." Reading this article explains that drinking has set backs regardless on how much is being consumed.

on Oct. 26 2010 at 8:37 pm
Heathurrlovesyouu SILVER, Morristown, Tennessee
5 articles 3 photos 28 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Nothing of me is original, I am the combined effort of everyone I have ever known." -Invisible Monsters

Actually, the author was talking about teenage drinking. If you had eyes, you could see that is also what I was talking about. Have this conversation with the author, who might care about your opinion, "amberglow".

dml6609 BRONZE said...
on Oct. 26 2010 at 2:22 pm
dml6609 BRONZE, Plaquemine, Louisiana
1 article 0 photos 5 comments
I love talking about teen drinking. I get angry when teens say that they want a drink. It is pointless to drink. Usually kids drink to be cool. I don't know how that would make a person cool. I never wanted to drink. When I do drink, I will sure be the correct age and not a little kid. This article expresses the need for awareness in drinking. It is not cool and never will be.  

Cmg6604 BRONZE said...
on Oct. 26 2010 at 2:16 pm
Cmg6604 BRONZE, Plaquemine, Louisiana
2 articles 0 photos 6 comments
Alcohol and teens do not mix. Teens are dangerous to themselves and to others. Teens drink a drive all the time and they endanger all other drivers on the road. Teens get in many wrecks every year because of alcohol. 

KRD108 BRONZE said...
on Oct. 26 2010 at 9:16 am
KRD108 BRONZE, Plaquemine, Louisiana
4 articles 0 photos 4 comments
I agree when you say that drinking is dangerous, but I have different opinions on all of the other opinions that were stated..  I don't think that peer pressure to consume alchohol is the only reason that kids in high school drink.  Most of the people I have seen that drink large quantities of alcohol do it because when they were younger they were restricted from doing any activities that they wanted to do.  By the time they get to high school, they go crazy with experimenting with drugs and alcohol.  The best way to prevent this from happening is to let the child try drinks when they ask to at an appropriate age.  That way, when they get to high school they will have tried it before and it won't be such a big deal. 


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