Nickolas and Angelica were two A B honor roll students in high school looking for something fun and exciting to do on their first summer night going into college. They wanted to celebrate because they had just both been accepted into Texas Tech. Their idea of fun was going out to parties and getting drunk. That is exactly what they had planned to do on their first summer night. Little did both of them know that they would not live to see the another day.
Underage drinking is a problem that needs to be faced head on and be solved and prevented. By definition and federal law, underage drinking is any person under the age of twenty-one who consumes an alcohol. There are news reports every day about deadly incidents caused by underage drinking. Drinking alcohol is already bad in general especially at a young age, alcohol can alter the development of the brain and cause health problems that will merge in the future.
In the city of El Paso, it is difficult to keep teens entertained with a lack of things to do, teenagers turn to alcohol for a good time. Underage drinking in El Paso has been a big problem lately. “29 percent of the population of El Paso are drinking and they are under the age of 18” says El Paso Times. El Paso should be taking this problem more serious because the percentage of underage drinking will start rising year by year and it will start affecting the city. In a city like El Paso, underage drinking has been a problem that involve deaths and injuries due to accidents and they keep on happening. El Paso should start to take control of this and lower the percentage of underage drinking and help those teens that drink at such young age.
Every 19 minutes a teen dies as the result of a alcohol related crash according to USA today. In 2011, El Paso had 74 tragic accidents and 8 them were teens. Out of those 8 crashes 5 of them involved alcohol and they crashed and killed or almost killed themselves for being intoxicated and they still decide to drive. Underage drinking and driving have affected El Paso and is known in El Paso, Teens decide to drive after being heavily intoxicated and get themselves in really big trouble and even injure themselves because they decided to drive while being drunk. Teens don’t think about the consequences they can get in after drinking some cold ones with their friends but still decide to drive, they don’t know that it maybe their last drive and kill themselves by driving really intoxicated. In the City of El Paso website it states that in February of 2000, 5 teenagers were going home after partying in Juarez, Mexico and they got in a really horrible, tragic accident leaving all 5 dead. The driver had lost control of the car because he was intoxicated and he killed himself and his friends that night after coming home after a night of heavy drinking at Juarez. Underage drinking and driving is a serious problem that can lead to death but some teens don’t understand that they can get hurt by driving while being intoxicated.
El Paso underage drinkers start at a really young age and it affects them throughout. In 2012, El Paso surveyed 4500 high school students. It showed that twice as many students ranging from 7th to 12th grade used alcohol compared to tobacco or any other drug. 34.3 percent of 2012 senior said that they binge drink most of the time they drink because they like to drink like that. In 2015, 83.1% of 9th graders confessed that they had their first drink at the age of 14 or younger. With teens drinking at such a young age means they will continue to keep on drinking if no one puts a stop to it or show them how drinking can really affect them and how it can kill them in so many ways. 1 of 4 ninth graders that have drank said they drove right after drinking and didn’t know in what type of problems he could’ve gotten himself into.
I myself am going to give you a real example that happened to a family. A family member of mine started drinking at such a young age. He started drinking at the age of 13 and he would binge drink and he would keep it from his parents. One day after partying with his friends he decided to drive even though he was intoxicated really bad and he was underage. He had a really bad accident and almost lost his life and regrets every single part of that night because he knew he would have made a smarter choice and called someone to pick him up or not drink at all because he is still young and can’t drink. The starting age of drinking in El Paso has lowered down because they’re not doing anything that can help them stop or promote the big problem that happens in El paso.
Drinking can lead to so many things because you are unconscious and you don’t know what you’re doing because you’ve been drinking with your friends really hard. Alcohol use with teens is associated with sexual risk taking, including unprotected sex. Male teens who reported that heavy drinking are almost 4 times likely to have an STD. Females teens who reported to be heavy drinking are 3.5 times most likely to have an STD, that is .5 less than males. Teens make this bad choices because they don’t remember what happened because they were to intoxicated and now they have bigger problems than being drunk the night before. Teens practice unprotected sex at parties or when they are drink because they are too drunk to think and make a smarter and they just get to it not thinking if their partner is clean or safe to have intercourse with them. In 2014, the county of El Paso had 1739 cases of chlamydia and 208 cases of gonorrhea and all those causes were younger than 20 years old. Teens don’t make smart choices while being heavily intoxicated because they don’t know what they are about to do they just do it because the alcohol don’t let them think twice.
Underage drinking leads to so many problems and still El Paso hasn’t done much about it and it the number are getting higher with teens drinking. Underage drinking can also lead to suicide because teens at that age don’t know what they’re doing. Among high school students nationally, who drink are more likely to attempt or think about suicide. Heavy drinkers are most likely to harm themselves while being very intoxicated. “Young heavy drinkers were 23.6 times more times to attempt and cut, hang or poison themselves” says Victor White. “El Paso 5 11-15 year olds and 19-25 year olds commited suicide and four of those involved alcohol in them” according to El Paso Times. Alcohol can affect many teens and end up killing them because they make bad choices when they are on the influence of alcohol. Underage drinking is a very serious problem in El Paso that has taken many lives and hurt a lot too.
El Paso hasn’t taken underage drinking very serious and a lot of problems have occured with underage drinking. Underage drinking has affected many families and I feel like this topic should be brought up more often because alcohol is a very serious thing and can kill many. “The drinking age is past due for reevaluation. Binge drinking on college campuses is a serious issue, and one that absolutely must be addressed.” Says author Lessing, Ryan. Alcohol doesn’t only affect the person consuming it, it can also affect the people around them. Teens who drink can end up in serious problems once they have grown up, it will make it harder for them to stop drinking since they started at an early age. It can also cause a lot of family problems during your teenage years and ince you are grown.
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