Underage Drinking Dillema

Victoria Denney, Reporter

You see it in movies, hear about it on the radio, and read it in the newspaper: Underage drinking. When it comes to alcohol, biology works against the human body, specifically teens.

This is a serious public health problem in the U.S. (www.lakeviewhealth.com). It is the most commonly used substance abuse and drinking poses large health and safety risks. This is especially true with binge drinking, according to a study by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) excessive drinking is responsible for more than  four thousand three hundred deaths among youth annually. Additionally, this costs the U.S $24 billion in economic costs. (www.cdc.gov)

Moreover, some adults believe that teenagers are just young adults. One key section in teens brains are not yet developed, this is called the prefrontal cortex; the section of the brain that makes decisions, recognizes errors, and control impulses.

One of the reasons the legal drinking age is 21 is because alcohol consumed at a young  age could disrupt or damage the brain. “Have you seen teens affected by drinking? What are the effects?”  Officer Raymond Readwin, a school resource officer at Peninsula High School (PHS) says, “It’s a very broad spectrum, right”?

You have kids that get caught once because they  made a bad decision on a Friday night, they get community service because they realized their mistakes so then they stop, or if there’s  the whole other side of kids who can’t stop; they’ve been drinking for awhile maybe their parents drink, maybe they’re not doing good in school, get in trouble outside of school because they are drinking all the time and it puts a stop to their life,” Readwin said.

Alcohol use  generally starts as young as twelve and marketing advertisements are  directing youth with social media, and commercials. The consequences of binge drinking is just as threatening,  some teens will only participate in this type of drinking once a month or less, but it can lead to blackouts, alcohol poisoning, and death.  (pubs.niaaa.nih.gov)

So, here is the million dollar question: Where can teens seek help? Peninsula Counseling. Or www.penisulacounselinginc.com This website offers “free 30 minute consultations and no pressure with financial obligation.”

  • Very adaptable with schedules
  • Not only  will help those addicted themselves, but also to family members or anyone who has an addiction affecting their lives
  • Are HIPAA compliant, meaning each patients information is confidential.
  • Contact or call directly (253) 851-4600