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!

_Bell_ said...
Aug. 19, 2010 at 3:28 pm
it does always feel good to do a good deed but it is a little bothering not knowing weather it did some good to someone.everyone has had bad things happen to them, as have I. some things are so hurtfull the only way to stop thinking of it is useing drugs or alcohal. being in that situation of going towards the alcohal is our own choise not no one else's. and we must now the consequences from what we are getting into. everyone has a choise in life when something hard comes around you just gota be... (more »)
alynaj36 said...
Aug. 18, 2010 at 7:57 pm
That is so true. I really agree with this article because there wasn't a single false fact. You did a really great job.
Zazawish777 replied...
Sept. 9, 2010 at 4:30 pm
I agree, i love this. I did an essay like this. I really like yours. % out of 5 stars. Please rate and comment on my stuff. thanks
alynaj36 replied...
Sept. 10, 2010 at 6:43 pm
I will look at yours, thanks (:
Whittney S. replied...
Oct. 1, 2010 at 11:59 am
I agree with this article and I think more  teens should know this. I hate to see people waste their live on that stuff.
Drea505 said...
Aug. 18, 2010 at 2:42 pm
This is totally true. I know a few people that because of drinking too much have done things they regret the next day or the rest of their life. When that person talked to me about the things that she did seems to me like she wanted to cry. It is sad to see what alchol can do to you and make you do.
livetoserve said...
Jul. 28, 2010 at 9:24 am
i'm already committed to not drinking until i'm at least out of high school.  there was a boy in our community who died in a car crash because he was drunk.  obviously, if he never had one sip of alcohol, he never would've continued drinking and he would not have been drunk that night.  therefore, he would be alive.  one sip CAN ultimately lead to death--it's the first drink that decides whether this is something you are going to continue to do.  i am strongly against te... (more »)
eckles7 said...
Jul. 27, 2010 at 9:28 pm
Most of the countries in Europe don't have age laws for drinking, and they don't seem to have nearly as much teen drinking problems as we do.  I go to visit my grandparents in Italy all the time and they always let me drink.  If I sit in a restaurant the waiter will pour me wine without my asking and just assume I want it.  Kids do what they're told not to.  It's our nature.  If you just teach kids not to drink too much and have an adult or AT LEAST a couple friends, the... (more »)
Sophia replied...
Sept. 28, 2010 at 8:06 pm

I agree with this. As an active member in the teenage community (but not too active) many kids drink because they want to be rebellious, because they feel restrained and oppressed by the rules set for them (I think this is stupid but it is a fact of life). I have many friends from Europe who drink on a regular basis, however they generally do not abuse (and do not drink here where it is illegal)this and none of them have any friends or family who have been injured by desicions induced by... (more »)

JuliaMarie said...
Jul. 27, 2010 at 10:40 am
I have a few comments on your post. #1, you don't have to get completely drunk to make poor decisions. #2, Even if you only have one drink, you most likely WILL be pressured into having "one more sip" and since you have already have had a little, you are much more likely to do it. #3, This person isn't saying drinking is all bad. If it's with your parents, or when you get older, a little bit of alcohol is harmless. It's in the teen partying situation that it is dangerous... (more »)
sajciesann said...
Jul. 27, 2010 at 2:04 am
I can'tdecide whether to agree or disagree with this article. On the one hand, drinking can be dangerous and people can be irresponsible and severe consequences can happen. But on the other hand, those who drink responsibly and are in a safe environment with friends or family and don't get completely wasted and make themselves sick, I think that's acceptable. There are much more worse things a teen could do then drink on occasion. Maybe somebody should write an article about the other more dange... (more »)
Heathurrlovesyouu said...
Jul. 3, 2010 at 6:16 pm

I strongly disagree with this article. I get the whole binge drinking thing, but honestly, using the phrase "just one sip," really made it lose some impact.

I understand how it could turn into a really bad situation, and I know the kind of people you're talking about. But, don't think every teen who drinks is irresponsible.

amberglow13 replied...
Oct. 23, 2010 at 4:23 pm
That was not the author's message.
Heathurrlovesyouu replied...
Oct. 26, 2010 at 8:37 pm
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".
Allie97 said...
May 22, 2010 at 9:12 pm
To all of you who responded with something like "Drinking isnt all bad...its actually perfectly fine." that isnt what the person who wrote this article means...they are talking about teen drinking...and not just a little sip of your parents wine cooler but one teen drinking a whole beer and then doing things they regret later. thank you for this article.
Haley Z. said...
May 22, 2010 at 4:58 pm
Drinking isn't that bad. Really. Think about it... there are a lot worse kids and teens could be doing, and some ARE doing. One drink won't get you drunk, PROVEN FACT. Weight, age, and gender determines how many "drinks" (equivilant to one shot or one beer) can get you drunk. Drinking on occasion and enjoying yourself is OKAY. Alcohol abuse is something that should be prevented and discussed. I honestly beleive this article blows drinking out of porportion.
Sophia replied...
Sept. 28, 2010 at 8:10 pm
Beautiful_Dead said...
May 22, 2010 at 3:57 pm
I think this person is exaggerating. Binge drinking and exessive drinking are bad, yes, but your not gonna turn into an alcoholic with 1 drink. When your a teen and your curious about drinking i think u shud talk to your parents about it. Your parents might let you taste it just so you dont go overboard with an experiment. But overall, I think you should wait til ur 21 to drink.They make this restriction so you are old enough to make a responsible decision. Its allright to drink once in a while ... (more »)
cody980 said...
May 13, 2010 at 6:24 pm
I see nothing wrong with a glass of margarita on Cinco de mayo or a glass of champagne on new years. Not all drinking is bad, and like someone mentioned before it's not harmful until abused.
rapiddrug said...
May 13, 2010 at 1:13 am

Yes, High school is the real time to experiment with what you want to do in life. Drunking and driving the car is very dangerous and without knowing yourself you will create road accidents. Atleast try to install breathalyzer in your car, it will prevent some road accidents.


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