Alcohol Abuse In Teenagers – Speech or Presentation Example
Alcohol abuse in teenagers A teenager is anyone between the ages of thirteen to nineteen. This population gap is the period where all people undergo adolescence, which is a period full of conflicting emotions. During this period, the body is actively producing hormones to support the robust physical growth. During this period, teenagers are likely to try alcohol mostly due to peer pleasure. In a recent study conducted by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, more than half the young people between ages twelve to twenty have tasted alcohol (Abbey, 2003). The legal drinking age in the United States is above twenty-one years. Apart from being illegal, underage drinking has other effects some that affect underage drinkers permanently. The aim of this campaign is to help teenagers understand the effects of underage drinking.
Perception of underage drinking among teenagers is a heroic rite of passage. According to scientific studies conducted on teenagers, the pleasure part of the brain develops earlier than the decision-making and impulse control parts. This concentrates the brains of teenagers on pleasure inducing activities despite the consequences involved. Alcohol abuse is such a pleasure among the younger generation (Abbey, 2003). Apart from the stimulating effect it has on the brain of the person taking it, it induces a form of stupor that misguides the victim. Alcohol is a favourite among the underage population due to its availability in the society, and the effect it has in comparison to other drugs is mild.
Alcoholism among teenagers is becoming a malignant problem and it could have adverse effects on the population if not properly dealt with. In 2001, alcohol related deaths totalled to 3,170 among underage drinkers. In the same year, over 2.6 million harmful events related to alcohol occurred in the U.S.A. Over the period between 2001 and 2013, the rate of underage drinking has been rapidly rising, which means there are more deaths and harmful events taking place (Abbey, 2003).
A study conducted by SAMHS showed that most of teenagers who indulged in alcohol had behavioural related problems. Behavioural problems manifest through violence, bullying or feeling inadequate and depressed. These behavioural problems at times lead to suicide among teenagers or excessive drug use (Abbey, 2003).
Another effect of underage alcohol abuse is impairment in judgement. The latter takes manifestation in several different ways. In some cases, teenagers attempt to drive under the influence of alcohol that leads to occurrence of accidents. A research on alcoholism in teenagers shows that drunk teenagers are at a higher risk of indulging in other drugs without their control. The study also shows that teenagers who indulge freely in alcohol are likely to start smoking tobacco and marijuana (Alaniz, 2008). Since underage alcoholism takes place in social events, there is a larger risk of indulging in unprotected sex.
From the effects illustrated above, it is clear that alcohol abuse among teenagers has serious negative effect on adulthood of the victims. The only way to fight alcohol abuse among teenagers is through awareness campaigns (Alaniz, 2008). These campaigns educate teenagers on alcohol, alcoholism and addiction. The main role of this campaign is warning teenagers against alcohol and drug abuse. The campaigns also provide a support forum for those teenagers affected by alcohol abuse. The campaigns use forums that are teenage friendly in order to reach a wide audience simultaneously (Alaniz, 2008). Example of online campaign banner on not selling alcohol to teens:
The campaigns’ focus is teenagers, but it also attempt to educate the community population on the dangers that teenagers face by indulging in alcoholism. The reason why these campaigns target the community is that the rate at which teenagers consume alcohol is directly proportional to the ease of access. A community with proper knowledge on alcohol access and the danger it poses to teenagers takes a more active role in prevention of alcohol consumption by teenagers (Graves, 2003).
Medical models show that teenagers are at a higher risk of addiction. The teenage body is less adapted for strenuous tendencies that lead to addiction. Since brain development is not complete during the teenage phase, teenagers are unable to control how much they drink. Addiction to alcohol at such an early age is dangerous to the physical body. Alcohol absorption into the blood stream takes place through the liver, binge drinking overworks the liver causing it to harden. Hardening of the liver causes liver cirrhosis and in teenagers there is a higher risk of the latter happening since the liver is not mature enough.
Alcohol abuse in teenagers is rapidly increasing despite numerous campaigns emerging that try to stop the spread. In order to minimize the spread of alcohol abuse, several recommendations applied at the right places should work. The first recommendation is stricter laws to any dealers selling alcohol to teenagers. Under the same, teenagers found indulging in alcohol should be liable to harsher charges (Graves, 2003). This recommendation enables teenagers and the community to realize the seriousness of using alcohol. Schools should also introduce measures that ensure all students within the school know how dangerous it is to indulge in alcohol abuse. Schools should impose strict rules including expulsion of students who indulge in alcohol and other drugs. These rules would ensure the punishment overshadows the peer pressure to drink (Graves, 2003).
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