The Dangers of Drinking

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Jordan T. Suess, Staff Reporter

  Alcohol consumption in teenagers has increased severely; as of 2015, 7.7 million people between the ages of 12 and 20 have consumed alcohol “beyond a few sips.” Alcohol consumption has become a problem as teens are naive of the consequences that follow drinking. Senior Caden Suess who is getting closer to the legal drinking age says he is aware of the dangers that are associated with drinking. Suess says the main reason for addiction comes from wanting to fit in with the rest of their friends or because of a mental or physical pain they struggle with.

     “Some people do not want to face the realities of life, it is easier to slip away into a bottle or a pill and take the easy way out,” Suess said.

     Suess said his grandmother was taken to the hospital because of alcohol and an old friend of his dad was killed in a car accident because of alcohol. Suess greatly fears the dangers of drinking and sympathizes with those who are caught in addiction. 

     Nearly 1 in 4 adults under the age of 30 meet the diagnostic criteria for alcoholism. A study conducted by the Washington Post showed that alcoholism is more common in men, people who are below the poverty threshold, and people who live in the midwest. This is important to Oklahoma especially due to many low income areas and households as well its location. Sophomore Emily Farrell believes that it is an issue in other schools like Broken Arrow or Union.

     Farrell went on to say how the choice to drink alcohol starts at a young age when teenagers either choose to drink to look cool, or to escape from the bad things in their life. Farrell also made known how aware she was of the consequences that follow drinking such as liver disease and alcohol poisoning. Although she displayed her awareness in the dangers, she said that drinking can be done in moderation as long as people are aware of how much they can drink before bad things can occur. “When you binge drink it can make you sick and you will no longer begin to function properly and end up passing out,” Farrell stated.

     When drinking, complications can occur very quickly when not taking moderation into consideration. At a .02 alcohol level, very light impairments occur. At a .04 alcohol level the feeling of being relaxed and retaining a buzz occurs. At a .08 alcohol level, which is the legal limit for most states, noticeably impaired movement, judgment, and driving skills occurs. At a .12 alcohol level vomiting occurs and further drinking will start to have some serious effects. 

     Senior Camden Barker has witnessed such things happen with a close family member who was taken to the hospital after being dropped off at his doorstep passed out drunk. The thought of not knowing if his family member was going to be fine and drinking without moderation in general is a very scary thought for him.

     Barker also had friends go to a party who posted pictures of them drunk. The photos had surfaced around enough and eventually gotten to their parents. The events ended with Barker’s friends being severely punished. 

     “It’s scary not knowing what happens behind closed doors when it comes to alcohol and drugs,” Barker stated.

     Barker believes the best way to stop alcohol abuse is to admit that you have a problem and seek help. Instead of letting the addiction take over, step back and see what the addiction has done to you and how it has taken over.

     Overall, addiction has taken over in this century and has had a massive impact on teens who are beginning to understand what alcohol is and how they think it could benefit their status or how it could pull them away from their day to day issues.