Underage Drinking and Driving

567 Words3 Pages
Underage drinking usually begins at the age of 18 and continues until they reach the legal age of 21. While drinking underage may be “fun” at the time, you don’t know the damage you are doing. From the ages of 18 to 21 underage drinking affects you, yourself, and the overall death rates for young adults. Many teenagers that are involved with underage drinking don’t realize the affects they are causing their bodies. Your brain is still developing till your mid-20s. The different regions of the brain differ in affect depending on sensitivity to alcohol. With continuous consumption the fibers that connect brain cells can disconnect, causing memory blur, impaired learning ability, motor disruptions, and disorientation. Since alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream the legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08% when BACs are higher you are at great risks for alcohol poising and death. Dr. Mary Claire O'Brien, an emergency medicine physician and assistant professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine said "We're seeing kids coming in with blood alcohol levels in the mid-.3s, even .4, which is four to five times the legal limit for driving. That's the level at which 50% of people die" (Emily Listfield). Also the liver is affected because it absorbs nutrients and removes toxins from the blood. Drinking can cause you to have a “fatty liver” that doesn’t have any symptoms besides abnormal blood test at first, but with chronic heavy drinking can lead to hepatitis then lead to cirrhosis that can be fatal and the only medical option then is a liver transplant. Some people including myself believe that since someone in your family is an alcoholic then you will end up being one too but Dr. Crews says “"If you start drinking early, you're 40% to 60% more likely to become an alcoholic, regardless of family history" (Emily Listfield). At the age of 18 you are usually starting your first year of college and when you are 21 you are usually in your second year. Compared to drinking at the age of 18 to 21 you are more mentally stable. You can make more sound decisions then rash ones at the age of 18. When you reach the age of 21 you know more about your body and you know how much you can consume while still being in control of your body and still being alert to what is going on around you, while at 18 all you want to do is drink nonstop and be completely unaware to what is happening.
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