Alcohol Related Crashes

"Alcohol related crashes are the leading cause of deaths for teens," states Dr.

Mark S. Gold of Fair Oaks Hospital. It's drinking that harms or endangers the drinker
or other people. Drinking and driving is an extremely dangerous form of alcohol
abuse. Teenage drinking may cause fights with family and friends, sometimes ending in
injuries or death. Loss of coordination and judgment makes drinkers accident prone.

Teenage arrests for drunkenness or creating a disturbance are not only embarrassing
but they can also mean a damaging arrest record (7). Teenage alcoholism is a
serious problem which destroys the lives of many adolescents.

In order to understand the controversial issue of alcoholism, it is
necessary to explore some background information. Webster's Encyclopedic

Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language defines alcoholism as "a diseased
condition due to the excessive use of alcoholic beverages" (35). In a medical sense, the
physical effects are quite frightening. There is a great risk of cirrhosis and liver
cancer. The brain tissue is destroyed and can't be replaced (Peele 15). Historically
speaking, even in ancient times, the use of beer and wine sometimes led to
drunkenness. Moderation was the most frequently recommended remedy (Plesser 3).

Peer pressure contributes to more and more teenagers consuming alcohol. "Eight out
of every ten high school seniors have tried alcohol more than once" ("Alcohol" NP).

Teenagers may not have much experience with alcohol, so it's hard for them to judge
their own limits. Since they are less mature than adults, they are more likely to overact
and lose control when intoxicated.

To show evidence of the effects of alcohol on teenagers, a couple of case studies
have been selected. The first one involves David, a 17 year old high school senior.

He was a gifted athlete and scholar until he turned to alcohol. The symptoms began
to show up by David infuriating his basketball coach and being told to never come
back to the team. His grades started to slip badly and was unaware that that the
quantity of alcohol that he was consuming had a direct toll on him. When he finally
realized that it was time to stop drinking, he could not do it. Finally, he went to
intervention and that was the best decision of his life (Greenleaf 8+). This teenager
was one of the lucky ones. He recognized the fact that he had a problem, sought out
help and was cured.

The next case study involved a high school student who earned good grades
and played football. Like many teenagers, Jeff Kellogg drank a bit on weekends with
his friends. Although being drunk, Jeff decided to drive home after a party. That
particular night the roads were wet and snowy. He crashed into a utility pole and was
rushed to a hospital where he was declared dead. His parents knew of his drinking
and would punish him hoping that he would stop (Anderson 1A+). While being
intoxicated, a persons' judgment and vision is impaired. Teenagers who feel
no pain temporarily may indeed make wrong decisions.

The answer to teenage alcoholism as well as other teenage problems is a one
word answer; parents. The people who gave birth to you are the ones that are
responsible for you and are ultimately the ones who will suffer the most when things
go bad. In most situations, the teen is living at home and is actually crying out for
help. Will anyone listen? Parents hope for the best and pray that situations will work
themselves out by themselves. Each generation has their own set of problems.

Yesterday's remedy will not work today. Professional services are available and
should be used. The parent must spend the time to know their teen!

Works Cited

"Alcohol." Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia. 1994 ed.

Anderson, Julie. "Teen Drinking Can End With Sobering Results"

Omaha World-Herald 29 Mar. 1992. (Reprinted in SIRS,

Alcohol, Vol. 5, Art. 10).

Greenleaf, Victoria. "The Trouble With David" Detroit Free Press
5 July 1987. (Reprinted in SIRS, Alcohol, Vol. 4, Art. 14).

Gold, Mark S. The Facts About Drugs and Alcohol. New York: Bantam

Premium Book, 1986.

Peele, Stanton Diseasing of America: Addiction Treatment Out of Control.

Toronto: Lexington Books, 1989.

Plesser, Donna R. Illegal Drugs and Alcohol. New York: Random House,
1983.

Webster, Merriam Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the

English Language. New York: Gramercy Books, 1989.

Bibliography

"Alcohol." Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia. 1994 ed.

Anderson, Julie. "Teen Drinking Can End With Sobering Results"

Omaha World-Herald 29 Mar. 1992. (Reprinted in SIRS,

Alcohol, Vol. 5, Art. 10).

Greenleaf, Victoria. "The Trouble With David" Detroit Free Press
5 July 1987. (Reprinted in SIRS, Alcohol, Vol. 4, Art. 14).

Gold, Mark