Teenage Drinking is Dangerous

Teenage Drinking is Dangerous

At any high school party, there most likely will be alcohol. Of course, the legal drinking age is 21, but according to the U.S. Department of Health, in 2002 and 2003, “there were approximately 7.2 million persons under the legal drinking age” who drank alcohol. What is it about drinking alcohol that causes so many underage Americans to break the law? Reasons may vary , but most teens drink because of peer pressure and the desire to fit in.

There are obviously many risks that one takes when one drinks, underage or not. For example, alcohol is a considered a depressant because it slows the functions of the central nervous system. It is still not known how alcohol affects memory and learning skills of those who drink heavily as a teens, but excessive alcohol use may make school performance worse. Teenagers who drink heavily may also be at higher risk for alcohol abuse as adults.

Being underage is reason enough not to drink, and underage drinking is illegal. Also, alcohol is a highly addictive substance, and over-consumption can happy quickly. Most teens have not learned their limits yet, and drink more than their bodies can handle. This can cause alcohol poisoning, which causes vomiting, unconsciousness, difficulty breathing, dangerously low blood sugar, seizures and possibly death. In addition, alcohol can lead to fatal car accidents, which puts the teen at risk as well as those unknowing drivers around him or her. It does not take much alcohol to impair driving ability. In addition, teens who drink can die from homicide, suicide and other accidents.

So, why drink alcoholic beverages and intake all of these calories when for the same amount of calories you could treat yourself to chocolate or ice cream?

Drinking can potentially cause many long-term health problems that may not show up until adulthood. More than 2 million Americans have been diagnosed with alcohol-related liver disease. You could get alcoholic hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), alcoholic cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), or liver cancer. Drinking can also cause heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and different types of cancer (esophagus, mouth, throat and larynx (voice box). Lastly, drinking can potentially cause pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).

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