Alcohol and Teenagers: A Deadly Mix Most American teenagers drink some time during their high school career. Many see no harm in an occasional drink at a party. In fact many teenagers view alcohol as the "rite of passage into adulthood."" For this reason, teenagers are dying to drink alcohol. Unfair as the minimum legal drinking age may seem to eighteen-year-olds who feel they are adult enough to drink alcohol, teenagers are not yet mature and responsible enough to handle the effects of drinking alcohol. .
According to Crittenton Hospital's records, fifty percent of all teenagers seen in the emercency room are from alcohol-related injuries (1). The average teenager takes their first sip of alcohol at the age of thirteen (Crittenton Hospital 1). This is really chilling because of all the harmful effect alcohol has on a young person's body. Alcohol causes problems with the stomach, pancreas, liver and other internal organs. Not to mention what alcohol does to a person while drinking it. Alcohol causes blurred vision, bad breath, it makes a person's face red and puffy, and it makes your stomach bloated. All those empty calories in alcohol can give a person what is called a "beer belly-. Alcohol robs a person of the ability to think or react. This is why alcohol use among teenagers is related to traffic crashes, drowning, vandalism, assaults, homicides, suicides, teenage pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases, just to name a few. .
Drunk driving is among the biggest problems associated with irresponsible underage drinking. By driving drunk, a teenager may be ending their life as well as someone else's life. Alcohol affects a driver's performance by reducing reaction time and slowing the decision making process. According to Hingson, traffic crashes are the leading cause of death in the United States for people younger than twenty-five. Forty-one percent of fatal traffic crashes involve a driver or a pedestrian who has been drinking and approximately three in every five Americans will be involved in an alcohol related crash at some point in their lives.