The Scary Truth About Underage Drinking

The peer pressure people face with drinking underage should be combated by the risks of what could potentially happen.

Aiden Foley

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     Underage drinking is everywhere. Underage drinking is seen in movies, in t.v. shows, music videos, some students have even seen it with their own eyes and many have read about it in books. Parents letting kids have a sip of wine occasionally isn’t the problem: it is students engaging in drinking full cans of beer or glasses of wine without permission. Underage drinking is absolutely everywhere and readily available for many.

     Students who involve themselves in underage drinking probably know of the consequences, but for those who don’t, (according to the consequences of underage drinking can be starting to have school problems, such as higher absences and poor or failing grades. More consequences include social problems such as fighting and lack of participation in youth activities, legal problems such as arrests for driving under the influence or physically hurting someone while drunk.

   Physical problems include hangovers or illnesses, disruption of normal growth, physical and sexual assault, higher risk for suicide and homicide, alcohol-related car crashes and other unintentional injuries such as burns, falls, and drowning, memory problems, abuse of other drugs, changes in brain development that may have lifelong effects, and even death from alcohol poisoning.

      According to, more than half of high school seniors have abused alcohol in the last year. This substance earns the dubious distinction of being the most frequently used drug. According to the MTF survey in 2015, students admitted drinking alcohol during the last year at rates of 58.2% for 12th graders, 41.9% for 10th graders, 21.0% for 8th graders.

     According to, “With over half (52.5%) of U.S. population identified as drinkers (, alcohol is the #1 abused substance in America. An estimated 135.5 million people drink alcohol, but of those people, 86 million are considered to be abusers.” Abusers include heavy drinking, binge drinking and underage drinking. Twenty-three percent of the population participates in binge drinking (59.7 million) and 6.5% of the population reported heavy drinking (17.0 million).

     An estimated 81.4% of people who drank alcohol for the first time were younger than age 21 at the time they started drinking, and 9.3 million underage people aged 12 to 20 were current drinkers. The appeal to alcohol could be that it’s widely available in homes, it is perceived as low risk due to the fact that is a legal substance, it is associated with having fun and partying and peer pressure. Some alcoholic drinks don’t sound alcoholic when you think of the name without knowing context. If students become addicted to it, it’s very hard to stop especially if it’s a form of self medication for undiagnosed mental illnesses or untreated mental illnesses. But there is a way to stop. Students should consider the consequences and the people close to them who are being affected.