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Alcohol Abuse and the Youth

By , Bordentown, NJ
When one thinks of high school and college, what is the main issue that many will think of? Youthful drinking is one of the major problems in America and it is getting out of control. It is almost impossible for someone to walk down the street and not over-hear someone telling a story about a friend who did something outrageous while under the influence of alcohol. As a high school student, hearing about a party where everyone is drinking is normal and apart of everyday life. Complaining that parents don't know the struggles of today, teenagers keep their parents out of a stressful life that in unbelieveable. Many of the pressures that surround the life of a teen seem to be spiraling out of control. Everyday their seems to be new for someone to try. Not being "in" and "cool" are the biggest struggles that many will go through. In order to be considered apart of the crowd, doing things many are skeptical about is necessary. Being a "goodie two shoes" is harder when we have the pressure of friends that are trusted. Instead of struggling with school and maintaining grades, people struggle with the will to do right. Already dealing with the pressures of sex, dating, extracurricular activitites, and bullying, drinking just adds to the stress. Contemplating on whether to drink or not can be difficult. "Why not try drinking? What's the worst that can happen? I'm with trusted friends , so what could possibly go wrong?" These are some of the thoughts that come to mind. Weighing the pros and cons are never-ending, but weighing a friendship isn't possible. When your conscience is in one ear and a best friend is whispering in the other, it is hard to listen to the morals that many are taught growing up.
Alcohol is a vile and increasingly destructive force in the youth culture because of outside pressure and message. Whether through television ads or the internet, alcohol is steering this generation's youth into a dangerous sector. Tough programs for prevention and education are increasing; underage drinking is still strong in this country. Alcohol is the leading cause of youth death in this country and the cause for adolescent motor vehicle crashes, other traumatic injuries , suicide, date rape, and family and school programs. Also alcohol is by far the most used and abused drug among America's teenagers. According to a national survey, nearly one third (31.5%) of all high school students reported hazardous drinking (5+ drinks in one settting) during the 30 days preceding the survey (Alcohol and Youth Facts). This and many other factors are the most dominating reason for employment problems, substance abuse, crimanl and other violent behavior. Young people who have started drinking before the age of 15, are four times more likely to develop alcoholism than those who start drinking at age 21 (Alcohol and Youth Facts).
In an effort to help reduce the amount of teen drinking, more should be done. Growing through elementary, middle, and high school, most students complain that class is boring. In health instead of reading, taking notes from powerpoints, and watching movies, there should be more interactions between teachers, parents and students. Everything, possible, should be done to help the well-being and life of a person who may have so much potential in the world. Making lessons more interactive will help students better connect; it is difficult to connect with a text book. Bringing in someone who has had a past with addiction will help someone better understand. It is better to hear a passionate speaker first hand, than to hear their story from a book or movie narrated by someone with a mono-tone voice. Also, playing games should not be allowed. Most games are played before a major test, but from experience, it is noticable that no one pays attention to the lesson. Many teens are caught up in trash-talking and winning a prize. There are so many ways to protect the youthful, but looking outside the box, and not looking for a simple solution will help us towards the right path and a better life.


WORK CITED:
"Alcohol and Youth Facts." Www.marininstitute.org/Youth/alcohol_youth.htm. Web. <http://www.marininstitute.org/Youth/alcohol_youth.htm>.





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