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Teenage Drinking

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Teenage Drinking

By: Seth

Seth Ferrell 4-11-2000 Teenage drinking Teenage drinking is something that goes on every day. No matter how many videos you show to kids about drinking they will still drink. Surveys show that the average teen seventeen and up spends $475.00 a year on liquor, mostly beer; that's more than books, soda, coffee, juice and milk combined. Most parents don't know about teenage drinking unless they catch their kids doing it. Parents usually say "oh, my my kid would never do that ", and they're the ones whose kids probably drink more that the average teen. One might ask, how do kids get alcohol? Alcohol is almost as easy to get as a carton of milk, except a teen has to get someone older like a friend, brother or even someone off of the street to purchase it. Another way underage teens get alcohol is a fake I.D. A lot of stores don't care, they just need to ask for an I.D. because they are being watched by security cameras. No matter what city your are in, one in every five stores will sell beer to a minor. If stores stop selling to minors they would lose a lot of business. Looking at the surveys I took at Lincoln on this topic it can been seen what teens think about teenage drinking. The results were shocking! The first Question I asked was "Have you ever drank alcohol?" Of the students surveyed, 16% said no and 84% said yes. The second question was, "How often do you drink?" The results were on the average three to four drinks a week. The third question was, "How much do you usually drink?" The average number of beers was eight and the average number of shots was seven. The fourth question was, "Have you ever drank alcohol before driving and 68% said yes! One of the last questions I asked was, "What would you do if you killed someone drinking and driving?" The majority replied that they could not live with themselves. Just through talking to people and going to parties, I have seen most people drink to get drunk, not many people drink just a drink or two. Many students don't feel that drinking is a crime because they are not hurting any one unless they are driving drunk. Drinking is a crime and there are many penalties for the teen who chooses to break the law. For a first time offender a teen would be taken to jail , finger printed, and photographed. At the time of arrest, if drunk, one could be taken to detoxification (detox) for up seventy-two hours. Detox is a place where the offender would go to sober up because the authorities feel a person may cause harm to themselves or others. The second time a teen gets caught he or she could be charged with fines of up to $500.00. After the third offense the fines only get more expensive. If any of these charges involve driving, the penalties can get much worse. If one is get caught drinking underage plus driving a vehicle all driving privileges could be taken away, in some places for up to two years with fines of up to $1000.00. Many people don't take these laws seriously. They are much worse when they happen in real life. Parents, teachers and friends can tell teenagers the consequences of drinking and driving, but often they don't think it will happen to them until they are caught and inconvenienced by their mistakes. There are many people who drink underage. They are mostly teens that are high school and college. The following statistics are unbelievable: College students drink an estimated four billion cans of beer a year. The total amount of alcohol consumed by teen college students is 430 million gallons. This is enough for every college and university in the United States to fill an Olympic size swimming pool. As many as 360,000 of the nations twelve million teens in school, will die from alcohol related accidents. Beer manufacturers spend an estimated $15-20 million a year to promote products to teens. The number of girls who drink to get drunk has nearly tripled in the past ten years. 75% of male students and 55% of female students involved in sexual assault or rape were using alcohol or drugs at the time. Almost 14% of college students drink alcohol daily. The younger one starts drinking alcohol, the more chance they have of becoming an alcoholic. These statistics are so outrageous to many people, but they are true. There are many reasons for these incredibly high statistics, but one of the most frightening reasons is a new fad that college students, especially, are taking part in, and that is "Binge drinking". Binge drinking is one of the most common ways teens consume alcohol. Binge drinking is having at least five drinks at one sitting. It's a way to get drunk very fast. I interviewed a college student at Florida State University on the topic of binge drinking. The reply I got was that binge drinking was the most popular way to initiate students into clubs or organized groups. One of the questions I asked him was, Do students have to do this to get into the club or group? He replied "no, but you are looked at like a baby who can't drink, every body will make fun of you, and you can't let yourself get a bad reputation at the beginning of college or it will be a long four years. Binge drinking has many dangerous side effects . Several short-term effects are vomiting, dizziness, and impaired thinking. Long-term effects can be much worse and include things such as poor grades, DUI's, sexual assaults, fighting, and later on health problems. A study released by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse says the younger a person starts drinking , the



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