Consequences Of Underage Alcohol Use Essay

554 words - 2 pages

Consequences of Underage Alcohol Use

          Alcohol is the most widely used drug among youth. It causes serious and potentially life-threatening problems for this population. Research indicates that drinking is associated with risk-taking and sensation-seeking behavior among adolescents. Alcohol has disinhibiting effects that may increase the likelihood of unsafe activities.In 1997, 21 percent of the young drivers 15 to 20 years old who were killed in crashes were intoxicated. For young drivers, alcohol involvement is higher among males than among females. In 1997, 25 percent of the young male drivers involved in fatal crashes had been drinking at the time of the crash, compared with 12 percent of the young female drivers involved in fatal crashes.According to national data, drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among adolescents and young adults. Factors contributing to youth drowning include alcohol which can severely affect a swimmer's coordination and judgment. Forty to 50 percent of young males who drown were drinking when they died, and an equal percentage of all diving accidents are alcohol related.Approximately 240,000 to 360,000 of the nation's 12 million current undergraduates will ultimately die from alcohol-related causes.

     People who begin drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who wait until age 21. Each additional year of delayed drinking onset reduces the probability of alcohol dependence by 14 percent.Adolescents who drink heavily assume the same long-term health risks as adults who drink heavily. This means they are at increased risk of developing cirrhosis of the liver, pancreatitis, hemorrhagic stroke, and certain forms of cancer.Adolescents who use alcohol are more likely to become sexually...

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