Last updated: July 18. 2013 11:34AM - 88 Views
Dr. Charles M. Wood II, Guest Columnist

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Underage alcohol abuse is a major problem across the United States. This includes large cities as well as small towns. Surveys of youth show that three-fourths of twelfth graders, more than two-thirds of tenth graders, and two in every five eighth graders have tried drinking alcohol. Studies among young people, show that alcohol is the most frequently used and abused drug; it out ranks both tobacco and illegal drugs. It is estimated that ten million Americans under the age of twenty-one drink alcohol. Nearly half of these young people drink to an excessive level. The results of underage alcohol use are frightening. The outcomes affect not only the individual, their family and friends, but society as a whole.
Facts related to underage drinking indicate that many young Americans are going down a very dangerous path. Alcohol abuse is linked to as many as two-thirds of all sexual assaults and date rapes, with some 100,000 students being victims. Alcohol plays a major role in unprotected sex, leading to HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. Under age drinking is involved in nearly half of all teen automobile crashes, which results in being the leading cause of death among teenagers. Underage drinking is also linked to teen suicides and homicides. According to an experienced emergency room nurse, underage alcohol abuse causes a large number of the injuries and causalities that are seen daily in the hospital. Finally, reports show that those who drink before age fifteen are five times more likely to become dependent and abusive of alcohol later in life.
Underage alcohol abuse is a problem that needs to be addressed by the entire community. Together efforts need to be put into work that will attack this growing crisis.
Businesses, civic organizations, government agencies, the religious community, and the educational systems need to come together and try to educate and help prevent underage drinkers from abusing alcohol.
By: Tyler Barrett, Tyler Howerton, Adam Mareske, Alex Mareske and Justin Oney
For Tracy Baisden's English 101 class
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