Since alcohol is one of the most commonly consumed drugs in the United States, underage alcohol use is a deadly public health issue. Drinking during puberty, on the other hand, presents major protection and health risks. Several young people are suffering from the consequences of early substance abuse, making underage drinking the first public health concern (Bellenir 21). Every year, around 5,000 adolescents die as a result of underage drinking, with another 1900 dying in car accidents. Furthermore, 1600 people died as a result of homicide, 300 as a result of suicide, and hundreds as a result of multiple accidents such as burns, drowning, and falls (Hausheer 37). Young people start to drink at the age of 14 years when compared to 17 years in 1965. Individuals who start drinking at young ages report to have been addicted to alcohol at one point in their lives. The paper focuses on the effects of alcohol consumption on teenagers and the causes of underage drinking.
Mental Health Issues
Excessive drinking among adolescents for several years can lead to serious brain maladies or permanent damages to the nervous system. During the young age, the brain is still developing and continues to grow until the age twenty. However, drinking at this time of drastic mental development damages the brain by impairing the memory (Scherer 79). Also, alcohol intake during early life may cause the risk of emotional problems including depression or anxiety. Rather than causing or masking the emotional issues, alcohol can augment the severity of stress and other problems associated with emotions. Research as illustrated that students who drink alcohol excessively are three times at risk of attempting suicide than those who do not consume alcohol. Teenagers between 12 to 16 years who drink have high chances of developing depression than non-drinking peers (Harding, Hingson, and Brown 11).
Teens who take alcohol have increased chances of having social problems, violence, and suicidal thoughts. Based on the recent data, 39 percent of young people who consume alcohol exhibit severe behavioral issues while 31 percent suffer tremendous levels of psychological distress (Hausheer 109). Furthermore, regular intake of beer has been linked with higher risk of aggressiveness, hyperactivity and attention-deficit malady. Besides, the incidence of risk-taking traits increases to teenagers, and the chances of injuries augment more when they are involved in alcohol. Adolescents are most likely to participate in battle and violence when they are drunk than when sober thus mounting the possibilities of risky sexual behavior, physical injury and academic failure (Bellenir 56). When young people drink, they lose the control of their mind and behaviors thus participating in unprotected sex thus aggravating the chances of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Addiction, Endocrine and Growth Effects
In both female and males, puberty is the duration related with marked hormonal adjustments including the increase of sex hormones, testosterone, and estrogen. These hormones amplify the making of additional development hormones and factors which are crucial for the actual organ growth (Scherer 77). However, the intake of malt during this age of drastic development and growth can upset the critical hormone equilibrium essential for the standard development of muscles, bones, and organs. Moreover, addiction is common to adolescents who take alcohol which ends up ruining their life due to the dependency and higher possibilities of causing accidents and failing in school (Hausheer 42). Also, alcohol addiction among teenagers is a gateway to the misuse of other illicit substances such as cocaine, heroin, and hemp. In addition, raised liver enzymes illustrating some extent of liver spoil have been detected in some young people who consume liquor (Bellenir 31).
Peer Pressure and Fun
One of the leading causes of underage drinking is the peer pressure which is very powerful at different stages of life but dominant during adolescence. Most of the kids get involved in drinking so that they can be accepted by their friends and saying no would have excruciating consequences such as humiliation, bullying and teasing or rejection (Harding, Hingson, and Brown 7). Also, adolescents take alcohol for fun when in colleges or partying. It is fun to get drunk with friends since it results to silliness, stumbling, slurred words and bizarre traits that are entertaining and make big stories for the next days.
Further, young people get involved to liquor due to the desire of exploring the world and try new things which end up to addiction. Most of the teens have autonomy especially when their parents are out or when they are at school. In addition, there are increased advertisements different brands of alcohol in the social which makes teenagers have the curiosity to experience (Sampasa and Chaput 3). During puberty, adolescents want to be treated like grownups as well as doing things that adults do such as drinking and partying.
Teens who fight with much emotional pain are vulnerable to alcohol. Alcohol intake is regarded as a medication since getting drunk or high will temporarily ease or numb the pain and offer means of escape (Sampasa and Chaput 9). Furthermore, adolescents who live in conflicted homestead can resort to liquor intake, so that to shut out the globe for a while or make them feel more bearable.
Bellenir, Karen. Alcohol Information for Teens: Health Tips about Alcohol Use, Abuse, and Dependence. Omnigraphics, Inc: Boston, Massachusetts, 2014. Print.
Harding, Frances M, Ralph W Hingson, and Jorielle Brown. “Underage Drinking: A Review of Trends and Prevention Strategies.” AMEPRE American Journal of Preventive Medicine 51.4 (2016): 148–157. Print.
Hausheer, Robin Michelle. Preventing Underage Drinking through Individual and Parent-Based Interventions. Boise, Idaho: Boise State University, 2015. Print.
Sampasa, Kanyinga H, and JP Chaput. “Use of Social Networking Sites and Alcohol Consumption among Adolescents.” Public health 139 (2016): 88–95. Print.
Scherer, Lauri S. Underage Drinking. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2013. Print.