Under Age Drinking

By: Charlie Polacek

what is underage drinking

is when anyone under the minimum legal drinking age of 21 drinks alcohol
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under Age drinking Statistics

  • by age 15, more that 50 percent of teens have had at least 1 drink
  • by age 18, more than 70 percent of teens have had at least 1 drink
  • drank alcohol beyond “just a few sips” in the

    in 2009, 10.4 million young people ages 12- 20 reported that they drank alcohol beyond “just a few sips” in the past month
  • for more statistics go to http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/UnderageDrinking/Underage_Fact.pdf
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alcohol's effects on the body

Drinking too much – on a single occasion or over time – can take a serious toll on your health. Here’s how alcohol can affect your body:

Brain:
Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works. These disruptions can change mood and behavior, and make it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.

Heart:
Drinking a lot over a long time or too much on a single occasion can damage the heart, causing problems including:

  • Cardiopulmonary– Stretching and drooping of heart muscle
  • Arrhythmia– Irregular heart beat
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure

Research also shows that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may protect healthy adults from developing coronary heart disease.

Liver:
Heavy drinking takes a toll on the liver, and can lead to a variety of problems and liver inflammations including:

  • Steatosis, or fatty liver
  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Fibrosis
  • Cirrhosis

Pancreas:
Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatic, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.

Cancer:
Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of developing certain cancers, including cancers of the:

  • Mouth
  • Esophagus
  • Throat
  • Liver

Immune System:
Drinking too much can weaken your immune system, making your body a much easier target for disease. Chronic drinkers are more liable to contract diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis than people who do not drink too much. Drinking a lot on a single occasion slows your body’s ability to ward off infections – even up to 24 hours after getting drunk.

  • for more info on alcohol's effects on the body