Don't Tell Me To Drink, I Care This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Alcoholism: an illness in which there is a strong desire to continue drinking alcoholic liquor; also, the diseased condition caused by drinking too much liquor.



Alcoholic: of or containing alcohol. n. a person suffering from alcoholism.



Any ordinary teen my age might have looked up these words for health class, or as an English assignment. The teen would most likely copy the words down, show the teacher the finished assignment, and then not think twice about those vocabulary words. That weekend, when this teen goes to a "keg party," s/he is faced with alcohol. This teen has seen the "cool" kids with beer, s/he has seen peers with it, s/he has seen beautiful people on television drinking all kinds of alcohol. What s/he has forgotten are those vocabulary definitions. S/He "only has a couple of beers." After a few more parties, those forgotten vocabulary words describe this teen.

Most of the kids who go to my school, most of my peers, most of the kids I have shared my life with since kindergarten, are heavy drinkers. They live for the weekend keg parties. They think drinking is cool, and the only way to have fun.

When drinkers are faced with people like me, telling the dangers of alcohol, they respond with excuses like: "I only had a couple of beers," "One beer won't hurt me," "Everyone else is doing it," "Don't be a geek," and "I won't be your friend anymore if you don't start drinking."

Anyone who says any of these phrases is either stupid, ignorant, or both. "Only a couple of beers"- The minute someone takes one sip s/he begins to hurt himself. "Alcohol won't hurt me" - Any amount, a little or a lot, will hurt. "Everyone else is doing it"- Many people are faced with this expression. Just remember, the people who are drinking aren't worth being friends with. "Don't be a geek" - You are not the geek, the people who are drinking are the geeks. "I won't be your friend anymore" - Anyone who tries to make you do something you are against is not a friend.

Alcohol is a DRUG. The worst drug in the world, because it is legal. Society makes drinking alcohol look perfectly normal. ALCOHOL IS A DRUG, and people can actually walk into a store and buy it ... a drug!

An alcoholic most likely won't even see any destruction happening in his life. Because society makes alcohol look normal, s/he will see no problems within him or herself. Millions of people die from alcohol. Alcohol kills, not only physically, but mentally as well. Alcohol kills the person whom families and friends grew to love. Alcohol destroys families, demolishes dreams, and breaks hearts.

I know these things firsthand. My father is an alcoholic. People say that alcoholism is a disease. Well, that disease killed my father. Oh, sure, every now and then his body will visit me, but he's dead. Every few months I'll hear a voice on the other end of the phone that says he's my dad, but I know the awful truth. This man is not my dad. My dad died the minute he couldn't live without his alcohol. Maybe once a year ... if I'm lucky ... I'll be haunted by my real dad. He might call, and actually be sober. I'm not haunted too many times.

I would like to be able to say that at least I have childhood memories of my dad, but I can't. You see, I never really knew him. He's always had his beer. He was never sober; he used to yell a lot. Those two facts are all I have for childhood memories. I don't understand how my dad could love alcohol more than me ... more than us. All I know is that I will never, ever, let alcohol in my body. I will not allow alcohol to ruin my life more than it already has.

Don't tell me to drink ... I care. I care about my body, my future, my life. I care about my family, my friends, and my family I'll have when I'm an adult. I don't want to hurt myself, or my loved ones. So don't even THINK of telling me to drink ... I care!




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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Vans27virgo said...
Apr. 12, 2010 at 10:36 am
right on!!!!!!! :) People just see it as a normal social thing these days, it's just sad. Don't drink.
 
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