Minors and Alcohol Short and Longterm Effects of Alcohol on Minors
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Minors and Alcohol Short and Longterm Effects of Alcohol on Minors

Alcohol abuse with minors is growing rapidly in the past years. Be educated and know the effects, and consequences of drinking illegally.

Minors and Alcohol. Alcohol is a very dangerous substance. Not only does it have many short term effects, but there are serious long term effects as well. Alcohol is a depressant. It slows down the central nervous system, increases heart rate and blood pressure. Alcohol is composed of and basically is Ethanol. Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is an unstable, flammable, and colorless liquid. Alcohol (Ethanol) is one of the most common and abused drugs, and yes it is a drug. For anyone who is under 21 drinking alcohol it is illegal in all 50 states.

Underage Drinking. Nearly 81 percent of high school students have tried alcohol at some point in their lives compared with 70 percent who have smoked cigarettes and 47 percent who have used marijuana. Every year approximately 7,000 children under the age of 16 have their first drink. Why is this? Alcohol is one of the easiest drugs in terms of accessibility. 16 years of age is usually when teenagers get their license, and since they have access to a car, they can easily ask a couple of their senior friends to buy them drinks, go to parties without their parents knowing, and hitting clubs with their friends. 30 percent of alcohol related accidents are due to underage drinkers, that’s nearly 53 billion dollars in damages alone.

Short Term Effects. Alcohol can be extremely dangerous if misused and abused by minors and adults. Short term effects can include and are not limited to loss of balance, slurred speech, slowed reaction times, alcohol poisoning, vomiting, poor hand eye coordination, impaired motor skills, dizziness, hallucinations, nausea, and headaches. When minors drink excessively, coma and death may be some rare, but possible short term effects. Our liver processes alcohol, and if you drink too much our liver cannot detoxicate or process all the alcohol. Essentially what happens is that if you drink too much, our liver can’t keep up and this eventually results in liver failure.

Long Term Effects. Heavy drinking can lead to addiction or alcoholism. Long term effects of alcohol abuse are much more severe than the short term effects. Long term effects once again include but are not limited to severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, convulsions, and permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain, liver, kidneys, and heart. In addition, Cirrhosis of the liver, enlarged heart muscles- parts of your heart swells, blocking blood passages and decreasing the flow of oxygen, cardiomyopathy, diarrhea, cancer of major organs, nutritional deficiencies, and weakened immune system. Premature death is far more common with people who are or have been addicted to alcohol.

Legal Issues. DWI, or driving while impaired, is common charges minors face when drinking. If your blood alcohol levels is between .02 and .07 you can and will be arrested for DWI if you’re a minor or adult. DUI, or driving under the influence, also relates to alcohol. Again, if you’re a minor or not you will and can be arrested for DUI if your blood alcohol level is at or above .08.

When drunk driving, millions of people have been killed, not only the drunk drivers, but their victims. If you are driving drunk, you can be charged for accidental homicide and be sentenced to up to 3+ years in jail. In addition to jail time, fines, lawyer fees, and court fees can add up into the thousands.

How to Prevent Minors from Drinking. We can’t tell teenagers to not drink and expect them to obey us. The best things parents can do is talk to their children and educate them. If you have kids, just talk about it. If you don’t bring this topic up then they’ll never understand how you feel about it. If you drink at home, don’t keep beer or liquor in the fridge. That is an extremely easily accessible place where any of your kids can easily grab one. Try not to drink around your kids; your kids follow your actions believe it or not. Part of what you do impacts them. If you come home everyday and pop open a can because you’re stressed out, they’ll resort to drinking when they’re stressed out. And if you are a minor, don’t waste your life on a stupid mistake, don’t drink.

Some Statistics.

65% of youth surveyed said that they got the alcohol they drink from family and friends.

Youth who drink alcohol are 50 times more likely to use cocaine than those who never drink alcohol.

More than 18% of Americans experience alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence at some time in their lives.

Traffic crashes are the greatest single cause of death for persons aged 6–33. About 45% of these fatalities are in alcohol-related crashes.

Underage drinking costs the United States more than $58 billion every year — enough to buy every public school student a state-of-the-art computer.

Alcohol kills 6½ times more youth than all other illicit drugs combined.

Concerning the past 30 days, 50% of high school seniors report drinking, with 32% report being drunk at least once.

Sources: Alcohol.Org, alcoholpolicy.niaaa.nih.gov

FactoidFactor © 24 February 2010 ,All Rights Reserved.

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Comments (7)

This is a very informative and "sobering" factoid. I endorse the writer! -- Shastri JC Philip

Excellent article....

You are so right. Especially when you say that we can't just tell our teenage kids not to drink and expect them to listen. One thing I started drilling into my kids at an early age is the safety factor. I let them know that I do not want them to drink BUT continually pointed out (still do and they are 17 and 22) that they should NEVER drive a car or get in a car with anyone who has had even ONE drink. I explain to them that everyone reacts differently to alcohol - that they might react one way one day and totally different the day. That how one's body reacts to alcohol is dependent upon many factors we are unaware of like how much sleep we had, what and how much we ate, the weather - anything. And finally I have drilled into their heads that no matter what, even if they make a mistake, they can and should ALWAYS call me for a ride if they need one. I have told them that if they drink too much that I will not promise not to show my displeasure that they were drinking, but that their safefy is my NUMBER one concern.

Yeah all true. Alcohol has different effects on everyone. You should never think ' oh I'm only driving a block, it'll be OK' , the truth is you never know. Any thing can happen at any time.

You know when I was young (a long time ago) I was called a "lightweight". I thought that meant I was skinny (which I wasn't) LOL. I haven't changed - still am not skinny and still a "lightweight". I can have one drink and be a goner - sometimes - but I don't drink often anyway. Other times, I can go as far as two drinks and feel fine. But, NEVER more than two for me. More than two = getting sick - literally. I know this from experience :( As far as only having to drive one block - so true - they say that most accidents happen close to home right?

Yeah, often accidents happen when coming home from a nearby party in which most teens think it's OK to drive that one or two blocks. But yeah, most frequently alcohol related accidents have in residential areas.

Drinking alcohol is not good for the health especially for minors it will affect their growing.it's not good for their health. Medical health