Friend od Foe?
Early Age Alcohol Use
Today, the average age an girl has her first drink is 13; for a boy, it's 11. In the U.K and many other countries, underage drinking is a widespread problem with often serious consequences. Young people who drink are more likely to be the victims of violent crime, to be involved in alcohol-related traffic accidents, and to have depression and anxiety. Other risky behaviors are also linked to early drinking. Young people who start using alcohol before age 18 are more likely to:
- Be involved in violent behaviors
- Attempt suicide
- Engage in unprotected sex or have multiple sex partners
- Develop alcohol problems in later life
Factors Affecting Risk of Developing a Drinking Problem
As well as the age at which they start consuming alcohol, a number of other factors influence a teen or young adult’s drinking behavior and whether it will become a problem. These include:
- Race and ethnicity. Some racial groups, such as American Indians and Native Alaskans for example, are more at risk than others of developing alcohol addiction.
- Genetics. A teen with an alcoholic sibling or parent is four times more likely to develop a problem with alcohol than someone without such a family history.
- The presence of mental health disorders. Alcohol problems often go hand in hand with mental health problems such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and schizophrenia.
- Personality traits. Teenagers who believe alcohol makes it easier to socialize, for example, tend to drink more than those who don’t believe that alcohol loosens their social inhibitions.
- Influence of family and peers. Teens are at greater risk for developing alcohol-related problems when alcohol is readily available at home or among their peer group, and if drunkenness is acceptable.
- Gender. Men are more likely to drink heavily than women, but women become addicted at lower levels and shorter duration of use.
In My Opinion
In my opinion, I disagree with alcohol hugely. I believe that you do not need to be intoxicated to be happy or to have a good time, you are being drugged. You are very lucky to be in this situation, to be a teenager, therefore drinking to overpower your life is not the smartest idea. I understand if you would drink with a responsible adult and have a glass, however drinking due to peer-pressure is irresponsible.