Alcoholism in teens is a growing and prominent issue across the country. The legal drinking age at one time was 18, and when studies and proof was made that it needed to be raised, a law was passed to make it illegal to anyone under the age of 21 to drink and buy alcohol. Many adolescents are faced with the decision to drink, or not to drink underage. While the law passed does help, it is still bought and sold to minors.
Alcohol is a depressant. It is made up of fermented fruits and mixed with ingredients to make a drink that affects the central nervous system and the spinal cord. In small amounts, alcohol can relax and relieve anxiety. The issue arrives when larger portions of alcohol are consumed and the liver is unable to process all of it in time therefore it is dumped into your bloodstream and reaches the nervous system and spinal cord. Your liver is able to process one beer or alcoholic drink per hour CDC).
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Teens will most likely consume more than necessary (and any at all is still illegal) to feel the buzz or try new things. What comes with this feeling, though, are major side effects. Vomiting, stomach aches, memory loss, and even alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning is just that, your system becomes overloaded with alcohol and is unable to process it correctly making you violently sick. Past the immediate effects, studies have shown that teens who drink alcohol are less capable to remember things, perform critical thinking tasks and tend to do less than their best in school and college (CDC).
Besides the physical effects, alcohol has life changing aspects. It is extremely illegal for minors to consume, and doing so will result in being arrested, having it on your record and most likely having your license revoked. Driving drunk kills more teens around the country than anything else (CDC). Although rates have decreased (51%) since 1991, one in ten teens still report having drove drunk (CDC). Doing so increases your chances of a crash by 17 times (CDC). Making choices to not drink and drive, or refusing to get in a car with someone who has been drinking can save you and others’ lives from being taken. In other words, you will never regret not drinking, drinking or driving or getting in the car with someone who has.
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