Teenage drinking has increased recently and has brought about a great concern in the society. The average age in which boys start consumption of alcohol is 11 years while for girls is 13 years. Teenage drinking is caused by peer influence, depression due to problems in the family, promotions in the media which influence alcohol taking by the youth either directly or indirectly, easy availability and affordability of alcohol to the teenagers. Due to increased involvement in alcohol taking by the teenagers, they get involved in many social evils.
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I am against teenagers taking alcohol due to the following reasons.
Effect of alcohol on teenagers’ health
Alcohol has adverse effects in the brain cells among the teenagers as it results in permanent brain damage. Teenagers are at an active growth phase in human cycle and due to this their brain cells are still growing and tender. When they take alcohol, the alcohol molecule destroys these brain cells and the effect may become permanent. Teenagers who take alcohol perform poorly in school compared to others who don’t take alcohol because alcohol reduces the reasoning capacity.Alcohol also affects the capacity to remember many things by those who take it because it lowers the memory and this makes it difficult for these teenagers in their examination as they are likely to perform poorly in school. (Alan R Lang 2000)
Alcohol, when taken in large quantity, has an effect of destroying vital organs in the body such as the kidney, heart and the liver. Teenager’s organs are still in growth phase and due to this alcohol destroys their cells and may cause fatal conditions such as liver cirrhosis, kidney failure, heart attack and diabetes.Overconsumption of alcohol may overwhelm the liver’s function of breaking the alcohol molecules and might lead to death due to alcohol poisoning. Alcohol result in loss of vision and impaired reflex system and these conditions might be fatal as time goes by. (Alan R Lang 2000)
Teenage drinking in relation to spending money and the economy
According to the journal on epidemiology and community health (2007), “Teen binge drinkers are significantly more likely to be heavy drinkers as adults and find themselves with string of criminal convictions”. To sustain drinking of alcohol, one needs to have money.
Teenagers depend on their parents for money and so they use this pocket money for taking alcohol. When they deplete this money, they may end up in getting involved in criminal activities such as stealing and robbery and this may lead to prosecution. When they get used to criminal activity, they continue with this behavior even when they become adults. Some may decide to engage in prostitution and this may result in diseases such as HIV/AIDS. They also get involved in trafficking of alcohol and other drugs and this may be lead them to be drug dealers most of drug dealers started by taking alcohol.
Alcohol taking by the teenagers leads to the government and other organization to spend a lot of money in rehabilitating and educating the teenagers about the effect of binge drinking while the money could have been used in other activities such as building of schools and hospitals. (Alan R Lang 2000)
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Effect of alcohol on teenager’s behavior
Alcohol taking inhibits proper functioning of brain and the nerves. Due to this, the judgment ability of the teenagers is reduced and hence they get involved in activities that are harmful and shameful.
When the youth take alcohol, they engage in violent activities. Any misunderstanding among themselves may lead to fighting and in some cases they kill each other. Destruction of property is part of the teenagers’ activities when they take alcohol. Some of these violent activities have serious legal implications and may result in those who are involved in being imprisoned and hence shutter their lives. (Nathan Aaseng 1994)
Most of the sexual activities by the teenagers are due to irresponsible consumption of alcohol. When the teenagers take alcohol, they lose control and get involved in sex that is unprotected.Due to this, some contract sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS while the girls get pregnant at tender age which may lead to complications during child delivery. When on drinking spree, the teenagers are likely to encounter sexual exploitation and harassment since they get into dangerous places such as pubs where they cannot defend themselves against the exploiters. (Nathan Aaseng 1994)
Teenagers who take alcohol fail in most of their responsibility. Most of alcohol taking teenagers fails to complete their school assignment because they spent most of their time in drinking at the expense of studies and this result to poor performance in the examinations. Some teenagers refuse to perform duties assigned to them by their parents in order to go and drink and this brings about conflicts with their parents.
When under the influence of alcohol, these teenagers drive irresponsibly and the after math is road accidents which might lead to fatal injuries and death. (Nathan Aaseng 1994)
Suicide rate among the teenagers is on the increase. When the youth take alcohol and other drugs, they experience low self esteem as they feel rejected in the society. Depression sets in and ends in some committing suicide. (Alan R Lang 2000)
Effect of teenager alcohol taking in the society
When the teenagers take alcohol, it not only affects them but also it affects other members of the society.
When the teenagers engage in binge drinking, they cause shame to the family members as the society may feel that they are responsible for not preventing the teenager from engaging in this activity. This behavior among the teenagers may also cause shame among the teachers who teach them as the society might feel that they failed in their responsibility of instilling discipline among their students. (Michael and Johanna 2006)
When teenagers engage in excessive drinking, they destroy their potential of becoming a responsible and productive members of the society. This is because most of their quality time is spent in taking alcohol and this will make them to be a nuisance in the society. Alcohol also leads to erosion of important virtues in the society when majority of the teenagers engage in alcohol drinking. This will likely to have a negative impact when the teenagers grow into adults and due to this, the society will have very many alcoholics. It will result in a sick society. (Michael and Johanna 2006)
Ways in which binge drinking among the teenagers can be reduced
Teenage alcoholism is a big issue that needs the involvement of every member of the society to fight it.
Parents should ensure that they teach their children good manners and advise their children on the type of friends to choose. This will raise awareness among their children on the impact of peer pressure on their behavior. (Morten and Curtis 2007)
Advertisements that encourage alcohol taking by the teenagers should be banned and more responsible advertisements should be adopted.
Alcohol should be sold expensively to prevent the teenagers from buying it and stiff penalties should be imposed on those who sell alcohol to the teenagers.
Teenagers should be educated on the effect of alcohol and encouraged to involve that will keep them busy. (Morten and Curtis 2007)
Alcoholism as a disease has infected many the teenagers. Due to this, it is important that every member of the society participate in fighting this vice as it will result in teenagers as important member of the society perishing.
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Nathan Aaseng.Teen and drunken driving. New York: Routlege, 1994.
Alan R Lang.Alcohol: Teenage drinking.Boston: McGraw, 2000.
Chris Volkman, Torren Volkman.Binge to blackout: Mother and son struggle with teen drinking. New York: Penguine, 1999.
Michael T French and Johanna C MacLean: Underage alcohol Use, Delinquency and criminal activity.Cambridge: Cambridge University press, 2006.
Morten Gronbaek and Tine Curtis. Harm minimization among teenage drinkers.Denmark: Copenhagen, 2007.
Dias Pj.Adolescent substance abuse assessment in the office.Paediatric clinic of north America.49.2 (2002):269-300.