Problems Caused by Under-Age Drinking
Every year 100,000 people die as a result of alcohol (Biddulph 2003:37). And one age group that has a high number of these is teenagers. But wait, isn't the legal drinking age 21? So how do teenagers get a hold of alcohol? Most teenagers can buy their own alcohol (Richards 2001:7). That is one major problem that contributes to teen drinking. Also, alcohol is so easy to get that most high school students have at least tried alcohol (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 2004). Teens are encouraged to drink by their peers and by alcohol advertising (Richards 2001). Alcohol in the hands of teenagers is devastating. Over consumption of alcohol leads to many health complications and
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That's over 10 million drinks a day (Richards 2001:41)! Underage drinkers account for 25% of all alcohol consumed in the United States (Reaves 2002). So how are teens able to get a hold of alcohol so easily? From stores of course, but if the legal age if 21, why are they still selling alcohol to people who are underage? It is estimated that two-thirds of teenagers that drink can purchase their own alcohol (Richards 2001:41). Now if the stores were to card people like they are supposed to, maybe there would be a decrease in the amount of teen drinking that occurs. Or maybe there would just be more theft of alcohol, but it's a sure thing that it would make alcohol harder for teenagers to buy. So of course too many teenagers are able to buy their own alcohol and most high school students have tried alcohol by the time they graduate, but how many teenagers are getting drunk on a regular basis? It's actually quite a bit of people, 24% of eighth graders, 40% of tenth graders, and 51% of twelfth graders have recently been drinking alcohol (Biddulph 2003:13). This number of people getting drunk is dangerous not only for themselves, but also to others who get in their way. Drivers under the age of 25 are more likely to drive drunk than those who are older than 25 (Richards 2001:41). So it is obvious that teenagers drink a whole lot of alcohol and have easy access to it.
So if alcohol is so dangerous to your health, then why would they choose to start