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When you let your 16 year old go to a party, what do you really think they will be doing? Playing board games and watching movies are not things that go on at teen parties anymore. The main purpose of going to these parties is not to beat so and so in a board game, or to see Brad Pitt in a movie. The reason why the majority of these adolescents go to parties is to get DRUNK! ! This has been a major problem for many decades now, since young adolescents are more and more involved with alcohol everyday. Underage drinking has been a problem in society for a lengthy time now.
Unfortunately underage drinking has been a major cause of death. Although many people consume alcohol for a number of reasons it is very harmful. One of the most common problems associated with underage drinking is, driving under the influence of alcohol. It was stated that, Although the degree of magnitude varied among the states and provinces studied the majority of research concluded that lowering the minimum legal- purchase age led to significant increases in alcohol- related automobile accidents among young drivers (Wagenaar, 1983). If lowering the legal drinking age increases accidents why would we even think to do such a thing. Previously when the legal drinking age was reduced, immediately the number of alcohol related automobile accidents relating to adolescents escalated tremendously.
After reviewing this information an individual will easily see that alcohol related accidents are very common; and something must be done to guarantee that they do not continue. In addition to drinking and driving, there are many other issues, which linked alcohol to death. Intoxication is a major cause of death, which unfortunately many young adults have experience. Intoxication includes a number of stages.
The first stage is Happy, the second Excited, the third Confused, the forth In a Stupor, and lastly the fifth In a comma. The first few stages are not severe, however the last two stages are death taking. The fourth stage is describe as, Unable to stand or walk approaching paralysis. Barely conscious apathetic and inert. Vomiting, incontinence. This step is crucial; however, the last is more severe it may be as bad as death taking.
The final step is clarified by, Completely unconscious few or no reflexes. May die from respiratory paralysis. Ultimately intoxication results in physical worsening, mental breakdown and eventually death. All of these records clearly state that intoxication can be very sever and lead to death. All of these details and facts undoubtedly explain how alcohol can cause death. Secondly, alcohol leads to negative attitude changes.
Alcohol has the tendency to change the way people act. When asked, My brother-in-law drinks an awful lot, and in the last year I have noticed a marked change in his personality. He used to be pleasant and outgoing now he is surly and introverted. Could his drinking be the cause of this?
The reply was, almost certainly. Very heavy drinkers can become moody, violent and jealous, or think they are being persecuted. Even worse, they can have trouble in remembering things, they may hear imaginary voices, see visions and become unable to cope with life. This confirms that alcohol has a negative effect on individuals attitudes. As well as the previous example, it has been shown that, practically three quarters of respondents in a survey (Health Canada, 1995), reported that they were wounded at some stage in their lifetime by others drinking; A massive fifty percent of all Canadians admit to being humiliated or insulted by a person who had consumed alcohol; a depressing one third of Canadians confessed to having a severe fight, or being pushed or tossed, as well being in a running vehicle with an impaired driver; and lastly one out of six Canadians owned up to being physically beaten by a drunk person. These statistics provide evidence that alcohol affects the attitudes and personalities of people.
As well as improper behaviour at parties, there are several more areas, which connect alcohol to inappropriate behaviour. Alcohol has the inclination to make people loose interest in numerous things, as well not care about things that are important, Monday morning absences due to hangovers, or intoxication may cost a person his or her job. Job loss is not the only thing, which is affected by hangovers and intoxication. A report done by Eng's and Hanson (1986) stated that there were a greater fraction of students who missed class and received lower marks when the legal drinking age was lower. Furthermore, alcohol leads to a number of health risks.
When you look at a person that is drinking alcohol you will notice many things that look different than a person who is sober (staggering, bloodshot eyes, etc). However many disturbing things are physically happening to the human body, that we are unaware of. The liver is being seriously damaged, which often result in cirrhosis of the liver. The kidneys are having difficulty performing properly, ulcers are being formulated and heart disease is commonly seen. Due to collapsing and knocking into objects, bruises and broken bones are seen very frequently. The stomach is regularly upset and the head experiences aching.
Some of the effects, which are visual, include, an extreme amount of sweating, trembling hands, and hallucinating. Alcohol not only affects a person physically but emotionally and socially. Phobic fears, guilt, despair and nervousness are frequently seen. Drinking appears to be the only thing that is important to an alcoholic. Marital problems arise, and the family experiences breakdown and disturbance. A loss of friends is seen and a sudden change in interests is perceived.
Alcoholics will lose the friends that they had, and hang out with people like themselves. Missing days at work is very frequent, and constantly changing jobs is very common. A lack in effectiveness and trustworthiness often results in a loss of job. An alcoholic will have a hard time focussing on certain things, and will have trouble recalling things. An alcoholic will look scruffy, worn out and exhausted, and they will look dirty. When drinking they will guzzle them down and drink very fast.
A younger person has the same amount of chance to be affected by alcohol as an older person; however, a younger person will most likely drink more than an older person and more frequent. Therefore the young teenagers are more in danger to be affected by these health risks, than the older ones. That is if the young one drink all their life and the older ones only begin when they are older. All of the previous information proves that alcohol has a negative of physical, emotional and social behaviour. A major problem that has been affecting society for a long time now is underage drinking. Alcohol is often abused by youth and has many life threatening side effects, therefore the legal drinking age should be raised to 21.
There are many people who believe that the legal drinking age should be increased to 21, however there are many who refute this. There are many people who believe that the legal drinking age should be lowered, and there are as well many reasons why they might believe this. Teens have to show responsibility and When they have the opportunity to drink, they do so in an irresponsible manner because drinking by these youth is seen as an enticing forbidden fruit, a badge of rebellion against authority and a symbol of adulthood. If teenagers are not allowed to drink, when they get the chance to they will take advantage of the moment and probably get drunk. So maybe if the teenagers were allowed to drink, they would not take advantage, and would act more responsible.
In addition to showing responsibility, one might ask, If teen can get their license at the young age of 16, why cant they drink alcohol? If a teen is responsible enough to drive around (being responsible enough to carry lives within the vehicle) why cant they drink alcohol? Angela Huebner (Virginia Cooperative Extension specialist in human development) stated that, while they are not considered adults for using tobacco or voting until they are 18 years old, they are able to get a driver's license at 16 years, but can't drink alcohol until 21 years. This is hard to understand. How can the government actually believe that a teen is responsible enough to drive, risking all the drivers and pedestrians on the road, but can not drink a simple glass of alcohol?
All in all, underage drinking has been a huge problem in society for many years now. It has been proven throughout a number of examples how dangerous underage drinking can be. To avoid life threatening side effects the legal drinking age in Canada should be raised to 21. Bib: Works Cited Mary Ann H.
Johnson. Teens Need To Have 'Just Right' Amount of Stress Knowledge for the Common Wealth. March 29 2000. Nov. 10 2001 (web) New illustrated Encyclopaedia of Family Health Alcoholism. 1988.
Vol, 1 Richard J. German. Why We Need A Minimum Purchase Age of 21, Controversies in the addiction field book. 1990. Nov. 10 2001 (web) Ruth Clifford Eng's.
FORBIDDEN FRUIT, Reasons why the drinking age should be lowered based on research, 1999. Nov. 10 2001 (web Summarized from Alcohol Policy Network's PIORITIES, Developments in alcohol policy in Ontario. 1995 - 1996. Nov. 10 2001. (web) The New Illustrated Medical and Health Encyclopaedia. Intoxication, Chronic Alcoholic. 1970.
Vol. 3 What everyone should know about alcoholism. Ontario: Scriptographic Communications Ltd. 1983
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