The Legal Drinking age has been set for many reasons to protect minors and other people in our current society. Many minors today see and fall to under aged drinking due to peer pressures, bad parenting, attention seeking, and many other irresponsible reasons. Growing up as a teenager your body goes through many different phases and changes, some for the better others for the worse. Throughout this passage we will be discussing the damages that can come from underage drinking. As mentioned earlier, one of the biggest reasons minors decide to drink is because of peer pressure.
However, this peer pressure has to start from somewhere. From my own personal experience and growing up through teenage era, bad parenting is one of the leading causes of where a child gets the idea to drink and pressures others to drink with them. I had a best friend throughout middle school named Chris, However, once we moved into high school Chris and I lost touch. During the time Chris and I had lost touch, Chris had developed into a totally new person. Obviously we change as teenagers and our maturity levels are tested.
Well, when Chris was going through his changes of growing up, Chris’s parents where never around to help or supervise Chris through these changes. Chris was known for staying out past curfews, not showing up to school, and hanging out with the wrong crowds. Chris in his need for attention, during his senior year, began to realize with his parents never around that he could through parties. These parties always had alcohol, whether he took it from his parents or he was able to get other people to buy him this alcohol.
So of course, Chris started a group of people who looked down upon others and even made fun of other teens who didn’t drink. This peer pressure worked on many people, and Chris got to the point of having a major party every other weekend. One night at one of his parties, one of Chris’s new friends got extremely drunk and got into an argument with some of the other teens at this party. The issues escalated into a big fight, Chris himself in the heat of this drunken argument took his father’s pistol and shot 3 kids, killing one and horribly injuring the other 2.
Situations like these arise numerous times throughout our nation. This isn’t the first time someone has been injured due to underage drinking. Minors are not responsible enough to make judgment calls on things as: how much I can drink, how am I getting home after I start drinking, how much have I had t drink, and other situations adults know the consequences too. There is a reason that we as a nation have the age limit as 21 to drink, one main reason I believe understand this reason is because by 21 you have done all your changing that you will need help and guidance to get through.
After 21, most of life’s issues are things that you have been prepared for throughout adolescent life to take head on. For some reason minors think that they are invincible and no harm or damage could come their way. This invincible feeling itself is the main reason why minors should not be allowed to drink. One of the most common reasons of teenage fatalities in America today is because of drunk driving. As a minor it’s obvious that if you choose to drink underage that you should not get caught. So when it’s time to get back home before getting caught by the parents, teens always think they can easily drive home.
Prime example of the invincibility issue I was talking about earlier. “Oh I haven’t had that much to drink,” “I don’t live that far away,” “I drive ok when I’m drunk. ” These comments or ideas are constantly used in underage situations. So thinking that you are ok to drive home so that you won’t get caught by your parents or authorities, teens usually take the chance. However, not only did you just put your own life at risk, you just put everyone that surrounds you in danger. I’ve seen kids wreck their car into houses, ditches, street poles, other vehicles, you name it.
Not only have these kids broken 2 laws, Underage Drinking and Driving under the Influence, but they also chance killing another civilian driving on the road. Everyone who went to driver’s education had to watch a movie about a father and mother’s heartfelt story of how they lost their son to drunk driving. As a teenager that should always leave a mental note not only to drink underage but especially not drive drunk. Sometimes that innocent person you killed might be a family member or friend. Does drinking underage really mean that much that you think you can chance possibly injuring or killing another human being?
The teens, who have tried to chance their safety, have ruined their own lives. They end up in jail; your crimes go on your personal record; you won’t be accepted any job worth having due to your personal record. For a little bit of so called fun, you have ruined your life and possibly someone else’s. Another Danger that minors put themselves through during underage drinking is alcohol poisoning. Minors who drink usually don’t know their own body’s limits. So when teens are at a social gathering that has underage drinking, there is a chance that teens drink way more than they should of due to lack of knowledge.
When facing alcohol poisoning, obviously you’re in a drunken state and can’t do what is necessary to keep you from hurting yourself. People have died before from consuming too much and falling to alcohol poisoning. Majority of those people are minors due to, once again, not being mature enough to handle what kind and how much alcohol is consumed. Another problem teens sometimes go through with underage drinking is unwanted pregnancies. Though this isn’t considered a danger, it can change your life in a completely different direction than what you planned for.
Some teenagers while intoxicated decide to converge in intercourse. Of course since you have been drinking, your mental judgment of taking the precautionary procedures needed fades. With your lack of maturity, come drastic life changing problems. Being that I am a Pro Life person I view this certain issue of underage drinking as taking a life. Irresponsible teens are the leading cause of abortion in America today. So when teens get too drunk, decide to have intercourse, and abort an unwanted pregnancy; personally I put that on the same level as drunk driving and killing another.
On a similarly related aspect, women who drink underage face the dangers of being taken advantage of. There are some unmoral individuals who prey on female teenagers to go out and drink so that they can take advantage of them. Whether it is by just causing the female to drink more than she can handle or even slipping a drug into her drink; this is an unfortunate but common danger females face with underage drinking. Minors who decide to drink way too early in life usually are the adults who are considered today’s alcoholics.
Obviously through alcoholism you destroy your internal organs over time. Most everyone knows that alcoholism leads to kidney failure, liver failure, and even liver cancer. However, not only do minors risk this later on in life, but they can also do damage to their body as it grows at its young age. Underage drinking not only causes brain damage but it can also cause growth and endocrine damage. When a human drinks it causes the loss of brain cells. When a teenager starts to drink at an early age, the earlier and more brain cells they are going to kill over time.
Also when a teenager decides to start drinking early on, causes to interrupt the hormonal balance (testosterone or estrogen) in young pubescent teenagers. These hormones help production of other hormones and growth factors, which are important for standard organ development. So even if you don’t cause major harm to yourself or another in that instance of underage drinking, you do cause harm to yourself over time. In some circumstances, underage drinking becomes a gateway or a beginning cause of drug abuse in some teens.
Most underage drinking goes on at parties hosted by highs school or college kids. Of course there are always people who have to take their drunk or high to the next level, so they bring drugs to the parties they attend. Just like peer pressure for drinking, there is peer pressure to try certain drugs. Most of the time the teenage invincible feeling gets increased as they get intoxicated, so the mental factor that is supposed to drive you away from drugs is lost. Underage drinking also is a cause of young adult suicide. Alcohol abuse contributes to stress and depression.
High school students who choose to involve themselves in underage drinking are twice as likely to seriously attempt to kill themselves. High school is quite a stressful time period with peer pressures and body developments. Knowing that young adults will be exposed to this kind of stress and possible depression is another reason I believe that minors shouldn’t be allowed to drink till they are 21. Minors who decide to drink at an early age also suffer in academic performance. When you make the mistake of underage drinking and all of its issues, kids tend to not care about school and either drop out or their grades drop immensely.
Underage drinking is a large problem America has to deal with on a day to day basis. Only you as a person can choose or decide whether or not to do the right thing. Every choice you make, not only as a minor, but throughout your whole life has a consequence. I just hope that this written piece might be used to help educate young teenagers and young adults to follow the law. Not only does following the law about underage drinking keep your life safe, but it protects your friends, family, and society members.