Drinking Their Lives Away

Just one drink doesn’t sound too bad right? The problem is it doesn’t stop there. Teens around the world are consuming and abusing alcohol, and no one is doing anything to stop it. Parents, peers, media, and the internet all play a huge role in the issue, and most of the time, it is a negative one. Teens today are losing sight of reality, and living a life that no teen should be living. They are attempting to grow up too fast, and be someone they aren’t in order to “fit in”. It’s time that someone steps in to stop the rise in alcohol use, and re-create a teen society that is on the road to success.

Even at the age of thirteen, many teenagers have begun to use alcohol, according to studies done by the CDC and AAP. Parents today don’t see the risk, and leave their alcohol out in the open, without a second thought. This increases the risk of teens abusing it due to the fact that it is always in site, and easily consumed. Some parents even allow their children to have a drink with them every once in a while at certain occasions such as weddings, new years, and other celebrated holidays. In addition to this, there is a group of parents who will go as far as supplying alcohol to their teens for parties. They feel as though there is no issue with it because they will be at the house all night and they know that they will be safe. However, this leads to them wanting more, and feeling that it is okay to drink, when that is definitely not the case.

Transitioning to high school is a huge step in life, and for most it can be overwhelming. A bigger school, thousands of people, loads of homework, it’s no wonder why students feel the need to escape and get away from all the stress. Drinking however, should not be the way that they do this. Many students spend their weeks counting down to Friday night. To many of us, this does not seem like anything unusual, or something to be worried about. That would be the case, if what they were looking forward to was a weekend with their friends, going to mall, movies, out to eat, or simply just relaxing at the house. For majority of today’s teens, what they are counting down to is a weekend of partying, drinking, and spending late nights with their friends that they won’t remember in the morning. Peer pressure is a major factor in this use of alcohol. Although they may not want to drink, the people around them will make a teen feel that he or she needs to go along with the rest of the crowd in order to fit in. This leads to a greater percentage of teens abusing alcohol, and for no other reason than to feel like they belong.

Today’s version of a “reality” show is far different from when they first began. Channels like MTV are advertising the use of alcohol through shows such as Jersey Shore. Shows of this nature demonstrate the party life, and show it to be the only way to live your life. Every night, the Jersey Shore cast goes out to another different club, drinks until they can barely walk, then go home and prepare for work in the morning. This creates a false image of reality for teens, and allows them to believe that drinking regularly is okay, and that they will still be able to do well in school and at a job. Also, music is a major part of the lives of the teen population. According to the Associated Counselors & Therapists of Hermosa Beach, CA, most teenagers enjoy music due to the fact that it allows them to journey into a separate, private world away from their parents. That would be fine, if today’s music hadn’t begun to glamorize the use of alcohol. The songs that 13-19 year olds are listening to tend to have a negative message. At first, the songs don’t seem to be of any harm, but once you listen closely to the lyrics, you will find the theme of alcohol and parties to be a main topic in many of the top hits. Teens are having their free time to relax corrupted by topics advertising the use of alcohol, and this is influencing many to start drinking themselves.
In addition to television and radio influences, the internet has a major impact on teen life. Research shows that on average, teens spend 31 hours a week on the internet. While a small percentage of this statistic is using the internet resources mainly for school purposes, the majority is spending their time on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. These sites allow teens to post various pictures and messages for all to see. Although some users are simply posting pictures of school dances or other events, and talking with their friends to simply catch up or make plans, there is also a large group using their pages to advertise their parties and show pictures of the aftermath. The pictures that appear show teens at their “finest” and attempt to interest viewers in the partying lifestyle. Seeing these pictures and comments create a sense of popularity of those involved, and lead people to believe that in order to be liked, they have to act this way. The interest in using alcohol spreads, people use the site to plan parties, and soon you can’t spend more than five minutes on one of these websites without seeing some kind of picture of kids drinking and abusing alcohol.

As you can see, teenage alcohol abuse is a major issue in today’s society. With so many things promoting it including parents, peers, media, and the internet, it is seemingly unavoidable. Teens are constantly surrounded by the idea that drinking is the right path to choose, and unfortunately many fall victim to this lie. The use of alcohol is destroying wonderful lives and promising futures, and something needs to be done to put an end to it.





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