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Teenage Alcoholism

Teenage Alcoholism

What is alcohol? Alcohol is many things to many people: To little kids, it is a curiosity. To teenagers, it is ?cool?. To responsible drinkers, it is a relaxant. To bartenders, it is a job, their lives. To restaurant owners, it is a moneymaker.

To probation officers, it is a frustration. To actively drinking alcoholics, it is heaven. To wives and husbands of drinking alcoholics, it is a waste. To recovering alcoholics, it is a painful old friend. To us, it is something to be learned about and controlled.

? (Dolmetsch, p.4) The definition of alcoholism stresses the basic elements of (1) chronicity; (2) compulsive, uncontrollable drinking; (3) intoxication; and (4) interruption of normal life functions. (Claypool, p. 91) When the drinker?s work, social life, study habits, mental health, or family and personal relationships are affected, the possibility exists that the drinker may be an alcoholic. If the drinker is able to stop drinking permanently, then he is not considered to be an alcoholic. ?For teenagers and adults, alcohol is the most commonly abused drug. It is easy to get, easy to use, and as common in our society as aspirin.? (Claypool, p.

62) Millions of American teenagers drink alcohol. Young people drink for many reasons; whether it?s to escape the daily stress of school or family life, or to fit in with their friends. But sadly enough, many teenagers discover too late that drinking cannot solve any of their problems. Teenage drinking is now one of the most serious problems that young people face. (Landau, intro) In 1977, Senator Frank J.

Dodd stated: ?Alcoholism is one of the greatest health problems in the United States and is one that afflicts individuals in virtually all social and economic categories and varying age groups.? (Claypool, pp. 90 -91) From the time children reach the age of 13 ½, 63 percent of the boys and 54 percent of the girls have at least tried their first alcoholic beverage. (Claypool, p. 14) Alcohol use substantially increases each year throughout junior and senior high school.

By the twelfth grade, 93 percent of the young men and 87 percent of the young women have at least tried one drink. Thirty percent of these students had five or more drinks in a row within the previous two weeks. (Landau, p.15) The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that: ?By the time ...

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...le to pull through successfully. (Dolmetsch, pp. 88, 115) Alcoholism among teenagers in the United States is becoming more widespread than ever before. Current statistics present an unpleasant picture of teenage alcohol use rising every year. Alcohol use leads to teens having problems with school, family, or even with authorities. They may drink to escape these problems, or even to fit in with their friends. This problem of teenage drinking is now one of the most serious problems that young people face today, and the only way to stop these statistics from growing, is to educate the teenagers of the risks of drinking alcohol.

Works Cited:

Claypool, Jane. Alcohol and You. New York: Franklin Watts, 1988.

Landau, Elaine. Teenage Drinking. New Jersey: Enslow Publishers, Inc. 1994.

Lang, Alan. Alcohol: Teenage Drinking. New York: Chelsea House, 1992.

Dolmetsch, Paul, and Gail Mauricette, ed. Teens Talk About Alcohol and Alcoholism. New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc. 1987.

Spence, W.R. Drinking and Driving: Murder on Our Highways. Texas: Health Edco. 1998.

Vogler, Roger E. Teenagers and Alcohol: When Saying No Isn?t Enough. Philadelphia: Charles Press, 1992.

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