Breaking the Law, a Trashy Scene

Teen drinking can lead to troublesome consequences

The most frequently used drug by teenagers is alcohol. There is no denying it. The National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abusediscovered that 86 percent of high school students say their classmates are drinking, or doing other drugs during the school day. Although it is illegal to purchase or consume alcohol until age 21, across the country teenagers are havingan easy enough time accessing it. Cedar Falls High School is no exception. The question becomes not “Can I drink alcohol illegally?”, but “Should I?” The majority of us ignore our conscience, the angel sitting on our right shoulder “Poof!” vanishes.

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse published 80 percent of high school students have tried alcohol. Curiosity, no doubt, plays a large part in this surprisingly high statistic. It is natural for teenagers to want to try new things: but
experimenting with this illegal drug is not worth the damaging effects. When alcohol is absorbed (through consumption) it goes straight into the bloodstream. From there it flows into our bodies’ central nervous system which is comprised of our brains and spinal cords. This gives alcohol the front seat driving position. A depressant, it takes the brakes off inhibitions, which is why so many people do things they later regret.

Since alcohol is a depressant, it slows down our systems’ functions. This doesn’t sound like a deal breaker. Sometimes I wish my thoughtswould slow down. But alcohol actually blocks messages trying to get to the brain, such as
“breathe!” Alcohol also altersperceptions, emotions, movement, vision and hearing. If alcohol is so bad, why do so many teenagers drink it? Well, in small amounts it can make you feel relaxed and less anxious. But after one beer, might as well have another, because, you feel fine. And then that one is gone and you go
get another. Soon intoxication occurs, whether intentional or not. Indications of intoxication include staggering, loss of coordination, slurring words together and becoming confused
or disoriented. We have
seen videos in Driver’s Ed of
people who cannot walk in a
straight line because they are
so buzzed. It looks funny. A
short time later, alcohol poisoning
can occur. Symptoms of
alcohol poisoning are vomiting,
sleepiness, unconsciousness,
difficulty breathing, dangerously
low blood sugar, seizures
and death.
Death. And yet the crowd
still laughs. It is still funny when
someone pees himself or vomits
her guts out or gets up on a
table and belts lyrics to a song
in an indescribable pitch. Your
friend whips out her iphone
and soon the embarrassing
“high” is all over Facebook
and Twitter.
The 2012 Back to School
Survey conducted by Columbia
University found that 75
percent of 12 to 17 yearolds
said seeing pictures
of teens partying with
alcohol or marijuana
on social networking
sites encourages
other teens to behave
similarly. Teens
who have seen kids
getting drunk on Facebook
or other social
networking sites
are more than three
times likelier to use
alcohol than those
who haven’t.
Besides getting
arrested (as if that
isn’t reason enough
to stay away from
the toxins) alcohol
has many other detrimental
effects on a
teenager’s life. It can
affect sports performances
because of its
ability to manipulate
the body’s coordination.
Drinking also gives
you bad breath and facilitates
embarrassing and regrettable
actions.
Drinking alcohol is dangerous.
Over the course of many
years, it damages vital organs:
your heart, your liver, your
brain.
When offered a drink at a
party, the choice will be yours
alone and you will have to decide
what is more important.

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