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We're to Blame

There are many worthy causes in the country, but one of the largest problems society currently faces is without a doubt binge drinking. Binge drinking, especially with teens, is not only illegal but extremely dangerous. It can lead to unintended consequence such as accidental pregnancies, isolation from former friends, a gateway to drugs, crime, and even death. With such negative results, why binge drinking such an issue? The problem lies in the fact that most teenagers do not see binge drinking as a problem. The media portrays it as not only popular, but necessary to have a good time. Many parents, though they do not endorse it, believe that kids will be kids. However, the worst influences by far are the teens themselves. They believe that in order to fit in and make the most of their life, they need to binge drink. Not just to escape problems, though that may weigh into their decision. The main reason is not because “everybody’s doing it,” but rather who is doing it. When the popular people come in on Monday telling glory stories of their binge drinking adventures, it has the same effect as a celebrity endorsing a product. If a close group of friends begins to party heavily, a teenager is faced with losing their friendship. A person who does not seem to fit in with any clique might become desperate and feel inclined to do whatever it may take to be a part of a group. What they do not realize, however, is that many of those who are drinking heavily are doing it for the same reasons. Additionally, those who do not drink are quiet about it, making it seem as if binge drinking is the only way to get accepted.

The fault, therefore, lies not on parents not enforcing a no-drinking policy, a failure of schools to not run an effective campaign about the dangers of binge drinking, or even the media’s elevated view of this behavior, though they all do factor in. The majority of it lies upon the teenagers themselves. Not the ones who decide to get involved in binge drinking as much as the ones who do not try to intervene. Teens that do not party are not vocal about it. They watch others’ make destructive decisions in a comfortable silence believing that the choices their peers make do not concern them. This could not be further from the truth. The teens who have made a commitment to stay away from binge drinking need to make another commitment: to help their peers to do the same. Nothing is as impactful as a peer’s advice. Positive peer pressure is the best way to prevent binge drinking. Parents should encourage their children to stay clear from alcohol, but teens will naturally resist. Anti-drinking campaigns are great, but teenagers can become so used to them that they lose their impact. A peer sharing his or her decision to not drink, however, will not be ignored or deemed repetitive. Teens can reach out and save their peers from unintended consequences, and even save their lives. With that kind of motivation, they should be inspired to do all that they can to reduce reckless partying because true friends do not let friends binge drink.





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