High school is known to many as your first steps towards independence, free will, and adventure. It’s your chance to try new things and activities without your parents finding out; however, a multitude of the things you may try have various dangerous consequences that you didn’t consider. Drinking underage may seem harmless at first sight, but the threats associated with it are not worthwhile.
You may believe that, as a teenager, you are invincible and the risks talked about from underage drinking are no big deal and highly unlikely to happen to you. In spite of that, the consequences from consuming alcohol as an adolescent are very real. A single episode of underage intoxication can lead to illness, injury or even worse, death. In October 2018, Lucas Davis, a varsity football player from Brentwood Highschool in Tennessee, died in a field one night from severe alcohol poisoning. The toxicology report revealed that the teenager’s blood alcohol level was 0.297, three times the limit for driving intoxicated. The details of Davis’s overconsumption are unknown, but when you start drinking at an earlier age, it is easier for you to develop a problem with alcohol. It is plausible that this was the case here, as he must’ve been drinking extensively throughout a short period of time in order for his body to have such a high alcohol content. This silly mistake cost him his life, one that could have been joyously filled with sports scholarships and awards. Instead, not only will Davis’s parents never be able to see their son play another game, but they will never watch a sports game the same way. How would your parents feel if they got a call one night to learn that their child died from an alcohol-related incident?
Teenagers nowadays think they know the answer to everything and are always correct, but their brains have not yet fully developed. A developing brain is the building block of all future learning, health, and behavior. Drinking alters your biological development and causes lasting cognitive defects, subsequently threatening your quality of life. Along with processing speed of everyday things, underage drinking can considerably affect academic performance. Students will spend more time drinking and doing other related activities than focusing on school, and this is becoming detrimental to their future in the long run. Studies have shown that as rates of alcohol use among teenagers rise, grade point averages decrease. Your parents raised you to be conscientious and hardworking, not for you to fall behind in school work due to alcohol usage. Moreover, when you are intoxicated, alcohol floods the brain and impairs your judgement, causing you to be unable to think aptly. This is transparent in your risk of being victim to unwanted sexual encounters and assault. Teenagers have a greater chance of participating in sexual activity after drinking and state that they ‘do more’ sexually than they had intended. Alcohol itself is bad for adolescents in the first place, but its consumption can lead to even worse experiences than just the health effects on their own.
Although high school can be a fun and new start, alcohol can certainly wait a couple of years. You have a long life ahead of you, and just a few drinks can shatter this potential completely. It’s not worth risking your life when there is an obvious solution; abstain from it for now and experience your childhood while it is still underway. You have plenty of time to party with friends later in life.