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Teenagers And Alcohol Do Not Mix

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1320 words
Legal Issues

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Teenage drinking is not only a burden on teenagers but on society as a whole. 'In 1997, 26 percent of 16-20 year old passenger vehicle drivers fatally injured in crashes had high blood concentrations (0.10 percent or more).' Teenage drivers that have BACs in the 0.05-0.10 range are a 18 times more likely (for males), and 54 times more likely (for females) than sober teens to kill someone after getting behind the wheel of a car. I don't know about you but I think those are some pretty scary stastics. There are many aspects to teenage drinking, such as: The dangers behind teenage drinking, The reasoning behind teenage drinking, Why some teens decide not to drink, The consequences that may come of teenage drinking, The long term effects of teenage drinking, and some of the ways there are to get help to stop drinking. Teenage drinking is a preventable problem that needs to be stopped. It causes nothing but pain, suffering, and misery.
Throughout the coarse of this paper I hope to voice my opinion on teenage drinking. I am just starting what are supposed to be the hardest years of my life and I think that teenage drinking is one of the biggest problems I will be faceing. Alcohol is a huge temptation that I myself have surcumbed to on a few occasions. I am not quite sure how many exactly but enough to present myself as a credibly witness to testify to the fact at hand. There are also a lot of things that I didn't know about alcohol that I learned from research.
I would like to start with a very simple question with a very complicated answer. Why do teenagers choose to drink? Well there are many reasons, one of which being just simply because everyone does it. In other words widespread indoctrination. Which is when for instance a teenager sees a person they look up to drinking such as a parent, teacher, or professional athlete drinking the see this and think it is acceptable behavior for them. They think that if so and so does it than so can I. They can see this type of example almost anywhere. Whether it be Stone Cold Steve Austin (a pro wrestler) slugging down a beer after kicking somebodys butt in a wrestling match or watching there own father drinking vodka stright from the bottle after a hard days work. These are examples of a teenager wanting to follow a role models lead and do just like they do.
Peer pressure is another huge reason why teens decide to drink. I conducted an interview with a fifteen year old intermediate school student who happens to be my brother. I asked him if he had ever drank before to which he responded yes. I than asked him why he choose to drink. He said that he and all his friends were going to a dance that night and a couple of his friends told him that they wanted to get drunk beforehand. He thought nothing of it, so him and his buddies got together before the dance and everyone started to drink. 'I felt left out, they were all having a blast and I was just sitting there watching' (said Brad) So he decided to join in the fun he took a few shots of vodka and started to feel the effects of alcohol. Peer pressure is a huge temptation that is very hard for a teen to turn down. The thought of not being accepted by a certain group of people is just to much for them to take. They end up doing something they do not want to do because some other group of people is doing it. People that are pressuring you to do something that you do not want to do are not worth listening to and definitely not worth risking your life for.

The effects of alcohol on the body and mind of a person are very severe and potentially deadly. When alcohol is consumed it then travles down the throat right into the stomach. A little of the alcohol, (depending on how much you drink), is absorbed right through the stomach wall and directly into the bloodstream. Than the rest of the alcohol goes through the stomach and right into the small intestine. This is where most of the alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream straight through the walls of the small intestine. The bloodstream transports the alcohol to all parts of the body like the liver, brain, and heart. The way the body gets rid of the alcohol is through a process called oxidation. As the blood carries around the alcohol it is carried around to all body parts. When the alcohol contaminated blood runs through the liver it slowly transforms the alcohol to water, carbon dioxide, and energy. The reason that alcohol can stay in you blood so long is that the liver can only oxidize about a half an ounce of alcohol per hour. While the liver is oxidizing slowly the excess alcohol keeps running through your bloodstream. Alcohol affects many organs but the most physically noticeable is the brain. As the alcohol goes through the brain it is effected in different ways for instance if a person was to have one to two drinks it will disable the outer layer of the brain. Three to four drinks affects the cerebrum which is in control of conscious reasoning skills. At this point the person begins to act clumsy and the BAC is 0.6 to 0.8 which in some states is considered drunk. When a person has five to seven drinks they then begin to affect the medullas ability to regulate involuntary responses, such as heart beating, breathing and the flow of digestive juices. When a person consumes eight to twelve drinks that amount of alcohol influences the cerebrum which is responsible for the control over skeletal muscles and balance skills. Now to put that into a real life hypothetical situation. John Doe goes to a party and starts to drink. After having one or two beers he is starting to feel pretty good and decides to do a little more socializing than normal. He is just going with the flow and having a good time. John keeps on drinking by this time he has reached his fourth beer. John now is noticeably clumsy and his reaction time is slowed. John just keeps on drinking and when he gets to 6 beers he is now legally drunk and the entire motor end of the brain get highly depressed. John is now staggering around and shouting loudly. He is now easily angered and gets mad at people for no reason. He just keeps drinking and soon finishes his whole twelve pack, now his BAC is through the roof at near 0.3, which is three times the legal limit. The effects that he is suffering at this point are sitting around in a drunken stupor. John has now stopped drinking and is lucky he did so. If he was to continue drinking he could have put himself in a come and maybe even drank himself to death. Now if that is not scary enough John could also done some stupid things that he would regret. He could have slept with someone who has a disease, made a fool of himself, or even drove. With all that in mind it leads me to the consequences of teenage drinking

There are many different consequences to teenage drinking, some of which are mild, and others that are very severe. One of the mildest consequences is the hangover, hangovers cause a lot of grief. Some of the symptoms of a hangover include: headache, thirst, fatigue, irritability or any combination there of. Hangovers can hurt you professionally also, they cause a lack of production at work or slacking off at school. They are just all around trouble. All of ...

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