Teen 101: Teenage Drinking: Why it’s a problem? And why it needs to be stopped?
There was a recent discussion in my class pertaining to the age limit on purchasing alcohol, and whether it should stay at 21, or be lowered to 18. Apparently, this turned into a very heated debate that brought up some very good points. The class eventually reached a consensus that the drinking age should not be lowered. From my point of view, I will explain why.
Let’s look at the anatomy of the average teenager. During the fragile cycle of adolescence, the body and mind are not fully developed. When alcohol is consumed in excessive amounts, it leads to tissue damage and even death. In other words, teenagers having access to alcohol can develop a habit that will lead to costly addictions and major emotional and bodily damage in the long run.
Alcohol is “confidence in a bottle”, because it limits inhibitions, and makes the person more talkative and outgoing. That is why alcohol is widely used and popular in social settings such as clubs and parties. As a result, teenagers may have easier access to alcohol than usual. Alcohol tricks the body into a state of “relaxation”, later followed by confusion, defend oneself during an attack.
Females are more vulnerable in social settings when intoxicated, since alcohol travels through the bloodstream faster than in males. The correlation between sexual intercourse and alcohol usage SADD quotes that in 2009, 46 percent of high school students had sexual intercourse and 13.8% had four or more sex partners during their life. Prior to the sexual activity, 21.6 percent drank alcohol or used drugs. Only 38.9 percent used a condom.
Obviously, teenagers are finding their way around the age limit. Some stores require that people show their ID to verify that they are of legal drinking age. Some teenagers obtain fake Ids, or get older peers to buy alcohol for them. The ease of availability, and the lack of concern from sales clerks, makes it very simple to obtain.
There are several preventative measures that families and communities in general can take to reduce the number of teenager drinking. Doing research and knowing the early stages of possible alcohol abuse will greatly reduce the number of teenage drinkers. Alcohol abuse not only affects the victims, but the people who live and work with them. As a rule, teenagers are not able to mentally and physically handle the consequences that will inevitably come along with the misuse of alcohol.