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Alcohol Abuse: A New Age

POV Contest Entry

Every high school student knows that parties, staying out late, and breaking the law is acceptable behavior for the sake of a better reputation. Having parties while the parents are out, beer pong, shots, and getting drunk became the thing to do on weekends. Once back in school, everyone talks about how drunk they were while finding out what types of actions they committed that night. Later on, their pictures are on the Internet, for the rest of your friends to see. Is this really acceptable behavior? Do people accept you for the person you truly are? Is drinking the only acceptable way to “have fun”?

Consequences for these foolish actions should be twice as hard. The drinking age should not be lowered to 18. We hear the bitter debate everyday: people want the legal age of drinking to be 18. Who’s to say that we are responsible enough to be drinking with our “friends” to have a good time? Lowering the drinking age will not increase the responsibility of teenagers overnight. All it will lead to is more drinking and driving, a decrease in activity in school, and an increase in the rare, horrifying nightmares we hear about in the news.

Throughout American history, the clutch on morals have been lost, drinking has become the new trend, because “everybody is doing it”. The fact that some parents even buy alcohol for their children is a disgrace. Parents that do so should not call themselves parents. They are not considering the risks that they are putting their children under. Let’s say that your daughter puts down their drink, just for a moment, to talk to their friends. They come back to a laced drink, but cannot see through the cold, red cup they’ve had all night. It only takes one sip to risk yourself of STDs, early pregnancy, and even death. Statistics show that 40% of girls ages 12-17 has had at least one drink during that age period, compared to 38% of boys at the same age. This is most likely because of self esteem issues that many girls have. By drinking and becoming accepted by the guys who take advantage of them, drinking at such a young age becomes a habit.

Because alcohol is ruining high school as we know it, it only gets worse from there. The alcohol influence seeps lower than that; to the middle school students, even, at times, elementary students. Studies show that 16% of male and females between the ages 12-17 admit to have had their first drink before the age of 13. Because of this, it comes to the point that we hear about 5th graders drinking. We are too young to be responsible drinkers. They only learn the best from their apathetic parents, party animal siblings, and the constantly changing society. Being a genuine role model becomes more difficult when you are an irresponsible person yourself.

Many high school students are under the misconception that drinking is the only way to spend your weekend, that drinking is the only way to have fun. Maybe, if you surround yourself with people who are not your true friends that have low tolerance for boring moments, drinking seems to be the only way to have fun. If you allow yourself to have more true friends than drinking friends, you’ll find that having fun isn’t an issue. There are ways to connect with others; drinking is not remotely close to it.
If high school students look beyond the piles of beer and stand higher above the beer pong tables they made a fool of themselves on, then maybe they will see that drinking is not the only way to feel good about themselves. A lot is at risk when making a foolish choice, and drinking during one’s youth is one way to risk more than expected.




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