Why Shouldn't I Drink?
Even though it is illegal to drink
alcohol in the United States until you are 21, and in Canada until
you are 19 (18 in Quebec), most teens
can get access to alcohol, or will at
least be exposed to it or have friends who drink. It is therefore
up to you to make a decision whether to drink.
Deciding to drink can have many
harmful consequences. Usually, younger teens (under 16) are neither
mentally nor physically developed enough to handle a strong drug
like alcohol. Also, the earlier that one begins drinking, the
more likely they are to have problem with alcohol later in life.
Although most teens drink alcohol
in order to fit in and look cool, they often end up doing foolish
things due to the fact that they are drunk and may end up being
embarrassed the nest day or having done or said something that
they regret. Also, the next day you will suffer a hangover, which
is not fun and includes, upset stomachs, headaches, dizziness
and sensitivity to light and sound.
Drinking may begin to interfere
with your social life, sports and school work. Also, your parents
will most likely disapprove of your drinking, and this could result
in punishment and groundings. As well, it has been seen that teens
who drink end up being more sexually active and having more unprotected
sex with partners that they do not know as well. This may result
which could then end up in death.
People often say that they drink
to escape from their problems, but it is a proven fact that drinking
only leads to more problems - especially problems with the law.
In fact, research shows that 32% of teens under 18 who are in
long-term juvenile detention centers were under the influence
of alcohol at the time of their crime and/or arrest.
Also, teens who drink may get seriously
hurt or even die. Over 38% of all drowning deaths are alcohol-related.
Use of alcohol greatly increases the chance that a teen will be
involved in a car accident, homicide, or suicide. If you do choose
to drink, don't drink and drive or let your friends drink and
drive. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), on one
of the most popular prom nights in 1999, as many as 62% of the
traffic fatalities were alcohol-related.
Long-term alcohol use
can have extremely serious health consequences. Liver damage is
a widely known consequence of alcohol abuse. Years of drinking
can also damage the pancreas, heart, and brain. Heavy drinking
can lead to malnutrition (if alcohol is used as a substitute for
food) or obesity
(if regular or binge eating is combined with the high calorie
content of alcoholic beverages).
Effects of Alcohol