Teen Alcoholism Essay

“Too many college students have just one objective, “to get drunk!”

Campus alcoholism is an epidemic sweeping through colleges and universities at a rapidly growing speed - Teen Alcoholism Essay introduction! Even though it is illegal for a minor under the age of 21 to purchase or consume alcohol, that law has never stopped those who wished to drink. What used to be a social activity has radically changed to an unsafe pass time that eating away at student’s money, school and health.

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A Harvard study showed that in 1993 only 38% of student’s who drank, drank to become drunk. That number jumped to 52% who drink to become drunk, when polled in 1997. Yet alcohol is addictive for only a minority – an estimated 10 percent in the United States – of it users. For most drinkers alcohol is a relatively harmless social beverage. Even though the percent is small, too many students are spending weekends and weeknights drinking the nights away.

Time is not the only commodity that kids are wasting on alcohol. Research shows that college students spend 5.5 billion dollars a year on beer and alcohol. That is over four billion cans a year and 430 million gallons annually. All that alcohol is enough for every college and university in the U.S. to feel an Olympic size swimming pool.

Alcohol is an infinitely confusing substance. In small amounts it is an exhilarating stimulant. In larger amounts it acts as a sedative and as a toxic, or poisonous, agent. When taken in very large amounts over long periods of time, this combination chemical and drug can be damaging to cells, tissues, and organs.

To further the confusion, alcohol is the only drug, which can also be classified as a food. Rich in calories and a potent source of energy for the body, alcohol is used by the cells to perform their complicated functions. Unlike most foods, however, alcohol contains negligible amounts of vitamins and minerals and contributes little or nothing to the cells’ nutritional requirements. As a result, continual heavy drinking inevitably leads to malnutrition.

The challenge to drink to the very limits of one’s endurance has become a celebrated staple of college life. “What has changed is the across-the-board acceptability of intoxication,” says Felix Savino, a psychologist at UW-Madison. “Many college students today see not just drinking but being drunk as their primary way of socializing.”

The reasons for the shift are complex and not fully understood. But researchers surmise that it may have something to do with today’s instant-gratification life-style—and young people tend to take it to the extreme.

In total, it is estimated that America’s 12 million undergraduates drink the equivalent of six million gallons of beer a week.

One simple fact people tend to lose sight of is that alcohol is a poison—often pleasurable, but a toxin nonetheless. And for a person with little experience processing this toxin, it can come as something of a physical shock. It can be extraordinary pleasurable and extraordinary painful.

In general, a bottle of beer has about the same alcohol content as a glass of wine or shot of liquor. And the body can remove only the equivalent of less than one drink hourly from the bloodstream.

It also is assumed by some that drinking to get drunk is a “guy thing,” an activity that, like cigar smoking and watching televised sports, belongs in the realm of male bonding. Statistics, however, show that the number of heavy-drinking young women is significant. A Harvard study found that a hefty 48 percent of college men were drinkers, and women were right behind them at 39 percent. It is very rare for anyone, even a girl to pass up a chance of letting loose and having a little drinking fun.

Due to the increase problems and awareness of campus drinking, college campuses are searching for ways to reduce consumption. Many offer seminars on alcohol during freshman orientation. Over 50 schools provide alcohol-free living environments. At the University of Michigan’s main campus in Ann Arbor, for instance, nearly 30 percent of undergrads living in university housing now choose to live in alcohol-free rooms. Nationwide several fraternities have announced that by the year 2000 their chapter houses will be alcohol-free.

However, researchers wonder if such “zero-tolerance” policies are helpful or if they might actually result in more secret, off-campus drinking. Other academics wonder if dropping the drinking age to 18 would take away the illicit thrill of alcohol and lower the number of kids drinking wildly. Others feel this would just create more drinking-related fatalities.

Whatever it takes, changing student behavior won’t be easy. What you’ve got here are people who think they are having fun. You can’t change their behavior by preaching at them or by telling them they’ll get hurt.

Even attending a Christian college doesn’t eliminate problems with alcohol. No matter where you are, if you are looking to find a party you can usually find it. I have friends who drink, but I chose not to. I made a deal with my parents that if I didn’t take a drink of alcohol until the age of 22, they would give me $2,100 dollars. Statics show that if a child doesn’t smoke or drink before the age of 22, they will be less likely to start as an adult. Sure the money will be nice, but I could easily say I never drank and still do. The whole drinking process just doesn’t appeal to me. I have seen to many friends wreak trust, friendships and morals being under the influence. It’s too much of a risk. I do enjoy being at parties to socialize, but I would much rather be myself sober then a drunken fool.

Sources

Another Empty Bottle. http://www.alcoholismhelp.com
Planet Papers. http://www.planetpapers.com
Rubin, S. Reader’s Digest, “Binge Drinking Campus Killer.” September 1998.

Teen Alcoholism Essay

Teenagers today have no idea what alcoholism really is - Teen Alcoholism Essay introduction. They think that they can never become alcoholics. They think that it could never happen to them, but they are wrong. Stress, family problems and the desire to be popular are issues that cause teenage alcoholism. Signs that a teenager has a drinking problem and steps that parents can take to help their child are what I will discuss in this paper. The critical ingredient common to all alcoholic beverages is ethyl alcohol or ethanol. It is a clear, tasteless liquid formed through the fermentation of sugars by yeast spores.

The amount of alcohol produced depends on the type and amount of sugar in the original mixture, the type of yeast used and the temperature maintained during the fermentation process. American beers, which contain about 3 to 6 percent alcohol, are made from malted barley and hops (the ripened and dried cones of the hop plant). Most wines are made by fermenting grapes or berries, and normally reach a maximum of about 15% alcohol. Teenage years are filled with unsure time. Intense pressure to perform and succeed are felt by many youths, according to Alliant Health Systems, Louisville, Ky.

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Perceived failure at home and or school can leads to the need for escape. Teenagers often see their parents react to stress by drinking, thus providing an example for them. They also see their favorite movie actors or actresses getting drunk when they go to a movie, so they think that it’s OK for them to drink. But what they don’t know is that drinking really hurts them in the long run. The desire to be accepted and popular among their friends encourages many to begin drinking. The ability to consume a lot of alcohol is associated with being a “real man or woman”.

When teens see adults drink heavily and movie stars on screen getting drunk, the message that gets through is that “it’s cool to drink” which is the wrong one to be sending. Almost one half (47. 9 %) of seniors drink alcohol at least once a month 19. 8 % drink at least once a week. Nearly one third (30. 7%) of ninth graders drink some kind of alcohol monthly or more often 12% drink at least once a week. Just over thirteen percent of seventh graders and six percent of sixth graders drink alcohol regularly. Regular use of alcohol has not changed significantly since the first survey in 1989.

Crime is commonly related to alcohol and other illegal drugs. More than 1. 1 million annual arrests for illicit drug violations, almost 1. 4 million arrests for driving while intoxicated, 480,000 arrests for liquor law violations and 704,000 arrests for drunkenness come to a total of 4. 3 million arrests for alcohol and other drug statutory crimes. That total accounts for over one-third of all arrests in this country. The impaired judgment and violence induced by alcohol contribute to alcohol-related crime.

Rapes, fights, and assaults leading to injury, manslaughter, and homicide are often linked with alcohol because the perpetrator, the victim, or both were drinking. The economic cost of alcohol or drug-related crime is on average $61. 8 billion annually. The need for preventing alcohol and other drug problems is clear when the following statistics are examined: Alcohol is a key factor in up to 68 percent of manslaughters, 62 percent of assaults, 54 percent of murders/attempted murders, 48 percent of robberies, and 44 percent of burglaries.

Among jail inmates, 42. percent of those convicted of rape reported being under the influence of alcohol or alcohol and other drugs at the time of the offense. [5] Over 60 percent of men and 50 percent of women arrested for property crimes (burglary, larceny, and robbery) in 1990, who were voluntarily tested, tested positive for illicit drug use. In 1987, 64 percent of all reported child abuse and neglect cases in New York City were associated with parental AOD abuse. (Lang 55) In 1992, there were 6,839 deaths due to alcohol. There were 1,154 deaths from direct alcohol related problems and 5,685 deaths indirectly due to alcohol.

Alcohol related deaths accounted for 9. 4% of all deaths. In 1985to 1992, the number of deaths has remained relatively stable. Of all direct alcohol related deaths, 74. 8% are due to chronic liver disease and cirrhosis. The rest are due to alcohol dependence syndrome (18. 2%) toxic effects of alcohol (2. 2%) alcoholics psychoses (2. 0%) alcoholics cardiomypathy (2. 0%) and alcoholic gastritis (0. 8%).

Most alcoholics’ deaths occur among men (72. 4%) this is why most men become alcoholics. When students want to talk to or with someone about their problem, 50. percent report that they would choose a peer 62. 1 percent a parent 39. 1 percent an adult friend and 30. 4 percent a relative other that a parent.

At school, 27. 2 percent of sixth graders and an average of 12. 1 percent of seventh graders, ninth and seniors would trust a teacher and an average of 13. 2 percent would trust a coach. In general, he percentage of students expressing trust of any kind has decreased over the past four years the only exception being an increase from 1991 to 1993 among sixth and seventh graders who indicate they would take a drug concern to a parent.

Alcoholic’s Anonymous does not engage in the fields of alcoholism research, medical or psychiatric treatment, education, or advocacy in any form, although members may participate in such activities as individuals. The Fellowship has adopted a policy of “cooperation but not affiliation” with other organizations concerned with the problem of alcoholism.

Traditionally, Alcoholics Anonymous does not accept or seek financial support from outside sources, and members preserve personal anonymity in print and broadcast media and otherwise at the public level. A. A. xperience has always been made available freely to all who sought it – business people, spiritual leaders, civic groups, law enforcement officers, health and welfare personnel, educators, representatives of military establishments, institutional authorities, representatives of organized labor, and many others. But A. A. never endorses, supports, becomes affiliated with, or expresses an opinion on the programs of others in the field of alcoholism, since such actions would be beyond the scope of the Fellowship’s primary purpose.

In the United States and Canada A. A. s relations with professional groups, agencies, facilities, and individuals involved with the problems of alcoholism are handled by the trustees’ Committee on Cooperation with the Professional Community. Mutual understanding and cooperation between AA members and others who work with alcoholics are the concerns of this standing committee of the General Service Board. Student Life Alcohol and Drug Education Programs offers alcohol and other drug prevention and education courses for adjudication purposes. The goal of required alcohol education is to promote healthy choices a! nd responsible decision making about alcohol and other drug use.

Required alcohol education is intended as both an intervention and educational tool. The participants are students who have been involved in alcohol related incidents and who have opted to attend the classes. Students in the Alcohol Education Workshop classes undergo formal assessment by a licensed chemical dependency counselor. Students in other classes are assessed informally some are then referred for professional assessment. An examination of American public policy on problem drinking reveals that it is until still another area where our ambivalence about alcohol is evudent.

There is no clear and sinlge- minded plan to deal with the drinking issue. Instead policymakers have accepted the simplest disease concept of alcoholism. The result has been a heavy investment of resources in just one area for only one group that represents but a small part of the drinking problems of this country. Coming to grips with our ambivalence about the socil meaning of drinking is essential. Though this is clearly not just a problem for teenagers, they may represent one of the best groups with which to start. After all, they will shape the alcohol policy for the next generation to come.

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