There are several reasons why teenagers make the choice to drink alcohol. Some do it for the thrill and the good times, while others like the feeling of being drunk and rebellious. Then there are those who fall under peer pressure. Others are looking for a way out; a way to cover their true feelings.
No matter what the reason is, teen’s use of alcohol has consequences. A large percentage of teens engage in drinking alcohol which doesn’t change the legal drinking age from 21. However, many teens are willing to drink alcoholic beverages, so it’s important to be completely aware of all the risks that are begin taken.
[media-credit id=206 align="alignright" width="150"][/media-credit]Alcohol is made when grains, fruits, or vegetables are fermented. Fermentation is the process of sugar in foods changing into alcohol using yeast or bacteria.
There are different forms of alcohol, and it can be used as a cleaner, antiseptic or sedative. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, alcohol effects the brain, which causes difficulty in walking, blurred vision, slurred speech, slower reaction time and impaired memory.
Large quantities of alcohol, especially when consumed quickly and with an empty stomach, can cause a blackout which in turn can cause memory loss. Binge drinking is consecutively drinking five or more drinks. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 90 percent of alcohol consumed by people under 18 is while binge drinking.
Many health problems can be associated with binge drinking such as unintentional injuries, such as car crashes or burns. Some examples of intentional injuries could be firearm injuries, sexual assault, or domestic violence. Other effects can be alcohol poisoning, STDs, unplanned pregnancies, high blood pressure, strokes, liver disease and neurological damage. Some unplanned events that can be occur from consuming too much alcohol could be unplanned pregnancies and STDs.
Alcohol poisoning is caused by drinking too much in a short period of time. Binge drinking is what leads to alcohol poisoning in most cases. Symptoms include confusion, vomiting, seizures, slow breathing, pale skin, low body temperature and unconsciousness, or passing out. Never leave an unconscious person alone. Instead, try to take them to a hospital. If a person is passed out, they should be rolled over on their side to avoid suffocating on vomit.
Alcohol poisoning, in more serious cases, can lead to death. According to mayoclinic, “If you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning call for emergency medical help right away.”
A hangover has multiple noticeable symptoms and is the result of recent heavy drinking. According to medicalnewstoday, the typical symptoms of a hangover are a headache, nausea, dizziness, tiredness, confusion, and thirst. A hangover can happen at any time of the day, but usually occurs the morning after heavy drinking. The severity of a hangover depends on how much alcohol was consumed.
Substance abuse can easily and quickly turn into addiction. There is a difference between a person who abuses substances and someone who is an addict. A substance abuser is someone who occasionally uses a substance, but consumes way more than is necessary to feel the effects. An addict is a person who depends and relies on a substance to get through their day. The younger a person is when they begin abusing alcohol, then they are more likely to become addicted.