underage drinking unit 3 paper

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Search 1 Dean Search Professor McCorry Thought and Expression 13 December 2010 Underage Drinking The stress of peer pressure and friends encouraging alcohol consumption undoubtedly is a major dilemma teens face in today’s society. The constant worry and anxiety teens experience in order to “fit in” is a major downfall that needs to be addressed immediately. The stories of teen deaths due to alcohol are extremely frightening. For instance, the death of three Martin County teenagers was due to alcohol. Nicholas Coady was driving his Jeep Cherokee after leaving a party and crashed into a front-end loader at a construction site. All three teens were killed and it was later revealed that Coady had a blood-alcohol level of 0.251, which is three times the legal limit. The other two deceased, Christopher Briglio and Connor Graver were also intoxicated at the time (Treadway). Underage drinking is an epidemic in the United Sates today. It causes bad decisions by teenagers and ultimately leads to unintended deaths that cause pain to many families around the country, as displayed by the three teens from Martin County. Due to these tragedies, it is necessary for there to be stricter enforcement on underage drinking in the United States. Teenagers are vulnerable to alcohol and entertainment industries advertising alcoholic beverages. The alcohol industry attracts teens by using fancy and attractive
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2 packaging. According to an article written by Hope Cristol, about forty percent of teens have tried drinks such as Tequiza and Smirnoff Ice, both of which have enticing designs on the bottle. Although the alcohol industry plays a major role in why teens drink, the entertainment industry has an equally important role in the matter. Alcohol is advertized everywhere on television from commercials to G-rated movies. An analysis of eighty- one G-rated animated films discovered that nearly 50% had characters using alcohol without receiving any sort of punishment (Cristol). This in turn influences many children and teens not to associate alcohol as bad. If we continue to ignore these statistics and do not attempt to fix these problems then the issue of underage drinking will continue. Unfortunately, alcohol is also connected to the top three causes of teen deaths in America today: homicide, suicide, and accidents according to Cristol. Not only is it attached to these fatalities but it is also linked to risky and promiscuous behavior. A study done about teens who drink and those who do not drink revealed that those that do drink risk contracting AIDS and other infectious diseases because they are more likely to have unprotected sex. Teenage drinkers are seven more times likely to have sex and twice as likely to have sex with four or more partners (Cristol). These are staggering statistics that should cause worry among American parents who let their kids partake in these activities with no punishment. The Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse
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