Friday, October 28, 2011

Increasing alcohol abuse in youth

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has on the human body. Since the beginning of time, human have consumed beverages made by fermenting grains or the juices of vine-ripened fruits. The ¡§healthy,¡¨ portly appearance of Western Europeans, often associated with engraving from the time of Charles Dickens¡¦s England and before, can be attributed to the heavy consumption of beer and wine by the populace. Beer, in particular, found its way into nearly every meals as either beverage or ingredient added liberally to soups and porridge (Schivelbusch, 1). It should be understood that this pattern of consumption not only provided food in the form carbonhydrates and calories to an often-impoverished diet but also afforded a much safer beverage to consume than the septic water of the day. Indeed, at the time of the U.S Civil War, beer was often referred to as ¡§ liquid bread¡¨ (Bumham, 1). Until recently, attitudes toward alcohol have relatively benign. For the thousands of years, alcohol has been regarded by society as a temporary escape from reality and the tension of everyday life. People use alcohol to reduce stress, to relax, and to enjoy a good evening. This should be the real purpose of alcohol drinking. However, drinking alcohol is regarded as a negative action by society and the government. This is not because of the action of drinking itself but because of the abuse people undertake with such an action. The average age when youth first try alcohol is 11 years for boys and 1 years for girls. According to research by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, adolescents who begin drinking before 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at age 1. There are many causes for drinking alcohol. For example, some people have developed a habit and drink alcohol before dinner everyday. Other use alcohol as a method to get rid of their stress. Some people admitted drinking alcohol when they were upset, alone, or bored. Teenagers are so sensitive that after they have a confrontation or an argument, they tend to turn to alcohol to relieve uncomfortable feelings. Moreover, there are many advertisements that shows alcohol as a very attractive drink. This cause a situation in which teenagers think that drinking alcohol is kind of cool and makes them look like adults. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, about 80 percent of high school senior report having used alcohol. On average, alcohol consumption begins around age1. Ten million 1 to 0 year-olds reported drinking at least one alcoholic drink in the 0 days prior to a nationwide survey. Information gathered by Mothers Against Drunk Driving finds students spends $5.5 billion on alcohol annually more than the total amount spent on soft drink, milk, juice, coffee, tea, or books.


It clearly contends that drinking alcohol cause traffic crashes and deaths in teenagers. At sixteen, many young American are legally able to obtain their license. In the United States, drinking and driving accidents account for the number one cause of death among all ages group, especially young adults and late teenagers. Recent statistic indicate that in 18, 8 percent of fatal accidents in the United States were alcohol-related, as 51 percent of fatal accidents on New Year¡¦s Day. Furthermore, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has indicated that lower fatality rates involving motor vehicle crashes, pedestrian accidents and other injuries occur when the legal drinking age is 1 or over. The national effort to reduce motor vehicle deaths and injuries of youth people between age 15 and 0 has been a success story. Although far too many youth still die tragically in these crashes. Fatality reduction over the past decade, especially those that are alcohol related, have been remarkable. (Meister, 64)


Drinking alcohol will also promote violent crime such as rape, abuse, theft, assault, and murder in youth. When teenagers drink alcohol, they easily get out of control and more likely to assault people or even shoot someone for minor problems. For example, 4 in 10 violent offenders said they were drinking whey they committed their crime, and alcohol-related deaths outnumber death related to illicit drugs from four to one. According to Center on Addiction and Substances Abuse at Columbia University (CASA), 55 percent of the female victims reported consuming alcohol or taking drugs at time of rape, and 7 percent of these women believed their assailants were under the influence of drugs or alcohol; 74 percent of men who claimed to have raped said they were drinking or using drugs at time of the assault, 75 of these men perceived that their victims were using intoxicants as well (McNamara-Meis, 0).


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There is a clear relationship existed between alcohol use and grade point average (GPA). According to the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information, in spite of its illegality, a lot of college students buy and drink alcohol as one of the most common forms of entertainment on campus. For instance, 41 percent of college students confessed not only do they drink alcohol for fun but also they drink five or more drinks at least once in two weeks. Furthermore, at both two year and four year colleges, the more students drink alcohol, the lower grades they tend to get. Students with GPAs of D¡¦s or F¡¦s drank three times as much as those who earned A¡¦s. This was supported by a11 study showing that while A students averaged .6 drinks per week and B students 5.5 drinks, C students averaged 7.6 drinks per week while D or F students averaged 10.6. Almost one-third of the students at four years colleges miss class and nearly one quarter of students cannot do well on a test or project because of alcohol or other drug use (Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, 15).


Finally, should the legal drinking age be lowered? Drinking is a big problem that cause many teenager deaths in the United States. However, many people still argue that the legal age for drinking should be reduced to eighteen. This issues has been brought up many times, but the law hasn¡¦t been changed since the change to twenty-one in 180.The legal drinking age should not be lowered because if it were lowered, the rates of injuries and deaths from traffic crashes, violent crimes, and alcoholism would increase. Even thought the minimum legal drinking age of 1, teenagers still have easy access to alcohol from commercial and social sources, so the existing law of legal drinking age is 1 should be strongly enforced because it prevent injuries and deaths-related to alcohol use among youth. The government figured that if they raise the drinking age, the percentage of deaths by drunk driving would decrease. Statistics show that in recent years, 45,000 people were killed in car accidents, and if alcohol wasn¡¦t involved in those accidents then 10,000 of those who died would have live. If drinking age were eighteen, then this figure would increase by about 1,000 (Olson 4). One of the main reason that the age should not be change back to eighteen is that many eighteen-year-olds are still in high school and can distribute what they purchase to young peers. More than one-third of high school seniors drink to get drunk and if the age was lowered, that number would increase (O¡¦Malley, Johnson, and Bachman, 1).


One o of the biggest problems people cope with today is the increasing of teenager drinkers. The effects of taking alcohol are dangerous domestic violence, crimes, accidents, sexual assault or becoming infected with HIV/AIDS. Youth are our hope; they are the future doctors, lawyers, artists, clergy, engineers, and leaders of this nation, we must take the responsibility to assure that these youths reach their potential. With strong commitment of resources and the recognition that we are responsible, we can combat alcohol abuse on youths and give them the education-academic, spiritual and social that they deserve.





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