Alcohol and TeensFrom pastures to unsupervised blowouts at home, the social calendars of most teens are full of alcohol. Other drugs rise and fall in popularity from generation to generation, but alcohol never really goes out of style. From being worshiped by the ancient Babylonians to being forbidden to teenagers, alcohol has caused many problems. Today, drinking is the drug of choice by teens and causes most wrecks and deaths today. To understand alcohol people must first know the history of alcohol, the effects of teen drinking, and the solutions to teen drinking.

Alcohol has been all around the world for centuries and has become a custom of people all over. No one knows for sure who discovered alcohol, but we know how different types of alcohol are made. Just as well, no know knows when alcohol was discovered. There are no records of the discovery or discoverers of alcohol. Although historians do know alcohol “was used by primitive people and recorded as early as 10,000 years ago in the Neolithic period and by European civilization”(Milgram 22). As early as 5000 B.C.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

, the ancient Babylonians brewed, the process of making beer, their beer in religious temples because it was considered a gift from God. Beer is an alcoholic beverage made by fermentation of cereal grains such as, wheat, rye, corn, or barley; beer contains 3 to 6 percent alcohol. Besides the ancient Babylonians, the ancient Egyptians drank beer. The Egyptians called their beer hek, which was made from barley bread. The bread was crumbled into jars, covered with water, and allowed to ferment. The Egyptian pharaohs blessed this beer in the honor of the goddess of nature, Isis.

Egyptians handed out free jugs of beer to peasant workers, and by no surprise drunkenness was a common problem in ancient Egypt (Nielsen 13).The strongest alcohol drinks are called liquors or spirits. An Arabian alchemist named Geber discovered liquor in the eighteenth century A.D. Geber made liquor by distillation, burning away the impurities that formed in wine during fermentation and isolated the remaining liquids. As a result, the concentrated liquid had a higher alcoholic content, which was “mainly flavored alcohol and water”(Milgram 65). Arnaud de Villanueva discovered liquor in Europe 500 years later, when he made brandy. Arnaud claimed that brandy would cure all humanity’s diseases, prolong life, maintain youth, and clear away ill humor.

In the 1600’s gin, akravit, and whiskey were discovered in many other countries. Then in the 1700’s, the Americans invented bourbon.Teenagers rarely think before they do many things. Many times teenagers go to big blowouts or little get togethers with their friends. Their first thought is not about death, their grades, or alcoholism; their main purpose is to get drunk fast and sober up before going home by their set curfews.

At parties, teenagers have an average of five or more beers in one night. In the United States teenage drinking has become a major problem, with about 3.3 million teens as problem drinkers. “One-fourth of all seventh through twelfth graders admit to drinking at least once a week”(Nielson 47). About forty percent of twelfth graders said they had one episode of heavy drinking in the past two weeks. Although no one knows why teens turn to drinking, various studies show that the amount of alcohol changes by their geographical location (Nielsen 47).

One major problem with teens and alcohol is death. Many teenagers go to parties and drive home thinking that everything is all right, but “twenty- one percent of young drivers involved in fatal crashes have been drinking” (MADD 1). On a normal weekend, an average of one teenager dies in a car crash every hour, and nearly fifty percent of these crashes were involved with alcohol. “Uses of alcohol and other drugs are associated with the leading causes of death and injury among teenagers and young adults” (NCADD 1). Not only do car wrecks kill teenagers, so does compulsive drinking. Alcohol, a depressant on the central nervous system, is detectable when someone begins to have slurred speech, slow reaction time, or staggered walking (Milgram 20).

The more a person drinks the higher the risk of having an alcohol over dose. Some signs of an overdose are “mental confusion, stupor, coma, seizures, bluish skin color, low body temperature, slow or irregular breathing, and vomiting while sleeping”(Alcohol Education Program 4). If these symptoms appear, call 911 for an ambulance, but never leave the victim alone.Excessive drinking, it can lead to teenage alcoholism.

People who begin drinking at the age of 15 are four-times more likely to develop alcoholism than those who start drinking at the age of 21. Most teens take their first drinks at the age of 13. Alcoholism begins by first tasting, then social drinking, next abusive drinking, and last becoming a problem drinker or alcoholic. Many factors such as age, gender, and location, indicate that economic factors have little effects on teens (Nielsen 50). Most teenagers do not know why they drink but most do anyway. Peer pressure has a lot to do with teen drinking, as well as the people they hang out with. Teens turn to alcohol or other drugs when they are depressed or they try to fit in. By doing this, they become alcoholics.

Under-age drinking is not an issue that is being ignored. The government, parents, groups, and other countries are trying to come up with solutions to teen drinking. Many laws have already been passed to stop teenagers from drinking.The National Minimum Drinking Age Act was signed into law on July 17, 1984 by President Reagan. The act strongly encourages states to have laws prohibiting the “purchase and public possession” of alcoholic beverages by anyone under 21 years of age by withholding a portion of federal-aid highway funds from state without such laws. On March 26, 1986, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations and the Federal Highway Administration published a joint rule implementing the statue. (Net Biz 1)Most U.

S. states have the Age- 21 law, but in Louisiana you can be 19 to enter a bar. Because of this law, the youth drinks less and statistics have gone down a little.

With the technology that we have today, many youth, from 20 to 35 percent, have possession of a fake identification. In Texas, having a fake identification is a third degree felony and will be subject to an automatic license suspension of 90 days to a year and a fine of up to $5000. Another law in Texas that helps cut down teenage drinking is the curfew. This law says teens cannot drive between midnight and 5 a.m. unless accomplished by a licensed driver 21 years old or older. If a teen is stopped past curfew, that teen is not eligible for a full driver’s license until the age of 18, and they cannot have an alcohol or drug convection within six months of applications.

In addition, the government placed pricing and taxation regulations on the sales of alcohol. “Regulation through pricing and taxations is unpopular with both the public and the liquor industry, but while the impact is inconclusive, there seems to be evidence that such regulations do have some beneficial effects” (O’Brien, Chafetz, and Cohen 34). The amount of taxes collected from alcohol sales places second as a source of revenue for the government (Milgram 37).

Parents can also help stop teen drinking by talking to their children about the dangers of drinking and using other drugs. Although most parents help their children by paying their fines, they can also help by keeping their children under lock and key with no privileges. “Teenagers whose parents talk to them regularly about the dangers of drugs are forty-two percent less likely to use drugs than those whose parents who do not” (NCADD 4). Talking to their teen is the best way to affect them.

Also, when teens break a rule, punishments are to be spelled out and carried out. In conjunction with talking to their teenagers, parents can encourage high self-esteem and set good examples.Along with parents, groups can help fight against teenage drinking. A popular group is MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. This group tries to pass persuade the government to pass laws to help lower drinking and driving. MADD thrives to make statistics public and get more people to join the fight against drinking and driving. Another group similar to MADD is SADD, Students Against Drunk Driving.

This is a group of students that fight against drinking and driving, and encourage other teens to stay sober. A teacher that lost two of his students to drunk driving started this group. “Students who belong to SADD sign a contract promising not to drink and drive” (Nielsen 101). These students also wear stickers and buttons that persuade other students not to drink and drive. If okayed by the principal, SADD hangs up posters around the schools, warning students of drinking and driving before an event or holiday.

A program to help teen alcoholics is Alcoholics Anonymous. Teens are treated differently while in this program. While in AA, teenagers have special needs such as finishing schools, learning dating skills, and choosing a career. Teens can also go to half- way houses, after they finish treatment for alcoholism, where they can meet new friends.Other countries can also help by raising their drinking age to 21 years of age.

Many places in the world a person must be 18 to drink, but in Germany he or she only has to be 16 (Net Biz 1). Canada has made it legal for people 18 and older to drink, but they also have the stiff minimum penalties for driving under the influence. Since that law, drinking offenses have plunged twenty-three percent.

Along with Canada, “drunken drivers in Finland, Sweden, England, and France receive automatic jail sentences and lose their licenses for at lease a year” (Neilson 61). If other countries would raise drinking to age 21, then it would be tough for teenagers to get their alcohol. It is easy for teenagers that live in states bordering Canada or Mexico to bootleg across the border to the United States. By raising the age limits to 21 in Mexico and Canada, it would help cut down on teenage drinking.

Everyday teenagers drink, despite the many dangers and risks that they are taking every time they drink. Throughout history and probably in the future, alcohol will be the leading drug of choice for teenagers. On the other hand, teenagers in turn are becoming better educated about themselves and the risk of alcohol.

Work Cited”Alcohol Education Program For Minors.” Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, 1994.Mothers Against Drunk Drivers.

Drinking Driving and Other Drugs. Homepage. 20 June 2001. ;http://www.madd.

org/under21/default.shtml;Milgram, Gail. Coping with Alcohol. New York: The Boston Publishing Group1987.NCADD.

Youth, Alcohol, and Other Drugs. Homepage. 20 June 2001. ;;”Net Biz Mentor.” Underage Drinking.

Homepage. 20 June 2001. ;

html;Nielson, Nancy. Teen Alcoholism. San Diego: Lucent Books, Inc., 1990.O’Brien, Robert, Morris Chafetz, Sidney Cohen. Understanding Alcohol And Other Drugs. Vol.

1. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 1999.


After maneuvering through a herd of people, the ultimate goal of the night is found, the keg. The party is full of people just looking to have a good time on a Friday night and alcohol just waiting to be consumed by the partygoers. As the night progresses, the keg empties, and the minds and motor skills of the partygoers have deteriorated. Some can no longer control their actions or sense what is happening in their surroundings. Though according to them, their current state is well worth the trouble because they had a good time at the party. Alcohol and its effects are far too accepted in todays society.

In life, the biggest role models for children are their own parents. Too often is the case where minors are allowed a small sip from Dads beer just to obtain a taste. From there, these children see that if their own parent allowed them to drink, then it must be perfectly normal to consume alcohol as a minor. The legal drinking age is a law that seems to go unnoticed by teenagers who want to get an early start on consumption. High school students are beginning to drink at an earlier age as more underclassmen are experimenting with the party scene. They are naturally curious of what drinking is like, and without parents standing in the way at parties, there is nobody to stop them from drinking. One thing that seems to allure the younger drinkers is the highly publicized state of being drunk. Not being in control over ones body would seemingly be a state that most would want to avoid.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

However, they see it as an excuse for actions that they would most likely not have done if it were not for the alcohol. Too often is the case where others will not hold a person liable for the things they do while drunk. In Dorothy Parkers You Were Perfectly Fine, Peter had become ridiculously drunk the night before and awakes in the apartment of a woman. How often is the case where people will find themselves waking up in a strange place with no recollection of what took place the night before? This scenario definitely sounds familiar because of the portrayal on television of this being a natural occurrence following a night of heavy drinking.

In most cases, both parties would be absolutely embarrassed when they realize what took place. In Peters situation, he has no memory of the events from the night before and must rely on the story of the girl who he woke up with. This girl who Peter woke up with, and whose recollection he must rely on to find out what took place, exemplifies the attitude of todays society towards drinking. She is polite enough to offer Peter more alcohol in hopes that it may help him feel better. Peter declines the drink as he is too busy being dumbfounded with the possibilities of what he may have done while intoxicated. Luckily for him, the girl is quick to assure him that he was perfectly fine in his actions the night before. Peter questions her if their friends were upset with the way he acted.

She pointed out that nobody was mad; except for maybe Jim but only for a minute or so. But according to the girl, Jim only had to be restrained and calmed down for a short time and that only a selected few might have noticed what was going on. It seems that the girl might have been downplaying the situation a bit for Peter, because having to be restrained is when a person is seriously angry and ready to do some physical harm. This conflict between Peter and Jim would have definitely caused a large commotion in the restaurant to the point where they would have been center stage with everyone elses attention. She went on to tell Peter of his other acts of comedy while dining which included pouring clam-juice down Elinors back.

Though Peter had nothing to worry about since sending Elinor flowers or such could easily cure her momentary anger. According to the girl, the maitre d found Peters hour-long singing very amusing. However, he was a little concerned about having to close the restaurant because of the noise level. Usually restaurant management would not tolerate a drunken man singing aloud for an hour, but the girl may have been correct in her assessment that Peter was not terribly loud at all. The waiter was just hysterical because of Peters accusations of being his half-brother who had been switched at birth by gypsies.

Peters actions inside the restaurant were embarrassing for both he and his friends, but unfortunately the repercussions for his night of drinking continued to grow upon leaving the restaurant. Apparently, Peters stumble on the icy road outside of the restaurant must have changed his inner self. Their long and passionate taxi ride that followed was the highlight of the night in the opinion of the girl. In fact, she viewed it as the most important event in their lives as they shared their true feelings for each other. If Peter couldnt remember this, then she would be totally crushed. For the sake of the girls emotions, Peter lied and played along as if he did remember his acts of gentleness. Things like this, where Peter unknowingly managed to alter himself from a rowdy and intoxicated slob to a gentleman who was in touch with his inner soul and feelings, defy the nature of the evening, but strange things do happen when alcohol is involved.

Within one night, Peter managed to nearly get in a fight, totally humiliate himself and all of his friends, and most importantly get himself involved in an unwanted relationship, all because he decided to drink too much alcohol. The story You Were Perfectly Fine exemplifies todays society in how we pardon any misbehavior by a person who was under the influence at the time. The girl excused Peter for every embarrassing action he did and brushed it off with her line, You were perfectly fine. Peter realized how much trouble he caused, but the girl felt his behavior just went with the territory of being drunk. Peter now has to deal with the situation of being in a relationship that he unknowingly got himself into while being drunk. Like anyone else, Peter made the decision to drink knowing full well the possible effects it may have on his body and mind.

A person must be responsible for his own actions whether intoxicated or not. Words/ Pages : 1,144 / 24


Alcohol There are some 14 million people in the United States and 1 out of every 13 adults are considered alcoholics or at least experience drinking problems to some degree. Most people just dont understand the consequences of drinking. Alcoholism is a disease and unless something is done, more and more will be affected by this dangerous drug. A bad withdraw from this drug can lead to death, not even heroin results in death as many times as alcohol. The majority of people see alcohol as a social outlet and does not consider it to be as dangerous as it may really be. Alcoholism is an often-progressive disease with symptoms that include a strong need to drink despite negative consequences, such as serious job and health problems.

The thing about alcohol is that a person does not need to be an alcoholic to experience problems with alcohol.Just a couple of drinks for anyone can result in irresponsible behavior, clumsiness, slurred speech, loss of balance, even unconsciousness. If you are diagnosed as an alcoholic you can not just try to cut down on drinking and think that this will help. Studies show that nearly all alcoholics who try to merely cut down on drinking are unable to do so indefinitely. Instead, cutting out alcohol is nearly necessary for successful recovery.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

Alcohol has direct toxic as well as sedative effects on the body, and failure to take care of nutritional and other physical needs during prolonged periods of excessive drinking may further complicate matters. Some cases even require hospitalization.The effects on major organ systems can be dramatic. A wide rang of digestive-systems can be affected, such as ulcers, inflammation of the pancreas, and cirrhosis of the liver. The central and peripheral nervous systems can be permanently damaged.

In advanced cases, abstinence from alcohol may result in a serious withdrawal syndrome, commonly known as delirium tremens, characterized by symptoms ranging from shaking limbs to hallucinations and blackouts. This condition can prove to be deadly even with prompt treatment. There are some good things about moderate drinking.Several studies have reported that people that drink one or two drinks per day are less likely to develop heart disease than people who do not drink any alcohol or who drink larger amounts. Small amounts of alcohol may help protect against coronary heart disease by raising levels of good HDL cholesterol and by reducing the risk of blood clots in the coronary arteries. Most people just dont understand the health risks heavy drinking can cause. They think of alcohol as a way to relax and forget about problems, but in fact it creates more problems.

Earlier and better treatment has led to high recovery rates.Despite these encouraging signs, estimates of the annual number of deaths related to excessive drinking exceed 100,000 in the United States alone. Economic costs related to alcoholism are nearly $150 billion a year. Bibliography Work Cited Page United States. National Safety Council and California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs.

Effects of Alcohol United States. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. FAQs on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Social Issues Essays.


I'm Adrienne!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out