What is Alcohol?

Alcohol is produced when grains, fruits or vegetables are fermentation. The fermentation process uses bacteria or yeast to convert sugars from food into alcohol. Fermentation can be used to make many essential items, from cheese to medicine. Alcohol comes in many forms. It can be used to clean, as an antiseptic or as a sedative.

Alcohol is absorbed by the bloodstream when people drink it. It then affects the central nerve system (brain and spinal cord), controlling virtually all functions of the body.

What is the effect of alcohol on the body?

Alcohol is a sedative. This means that it slows down the function of the nervous system. Alcohol blocks some messages that are trying to reach the brain. Alcohol alters the perception, emotion, movement, hearing, and vision of a person.

Alcohol can make a person more relaxed and less anxious in very small doses. Intoxication is caused by more alcohol. Over-consuming alcohol can cause people to stumble, lose coordination and slurred speech. You will likely be disoriented and confused. Intoxication can either make someone friendly and talkative, or aggressive and angry. Drinking and driving can cause a dramatic slowdown in reaction times. Intoxicated people may believe they are driving properly, but they are not. They might act completely out of character.

A person who drinks a large amount of alcohol within a short time is at risk of alcohol-induced poisoning. Alcohol poisoning is what it sounds. The body has been poisoned due to large amounts of alcohol. Alcohol poisoning is often accompanied by violent vomiting. Alcohol poisoning can also cause extreme sleepiness and unconsciousness, breathing problems, dangerously low sugar levels, seizures, and death.

Why do teens drink?

It is not uncommon for teens to experiment with alcohol. Teens use alcohol and drugs for a variety of reasons.

  • curiosity
  • Relax, relieve stress and feel good
  • Fit in
  • Feeling older

Kids see advertisements that show beautiful people having fun and drinking alcohol from a young age. Alcohol is seen as harmless by many teens because parents and other adults drink alcohol in social situations.

Why not drink?

Most teens have access to alcohol, even though it is illegal in the United States to purchase it before the age of 21. You are responsible for making the decision to drink. There are other downsides of drinking besides the potential for addiction:

The punishment for teens who drink is severe. Drinking alcohol can lead to serious legal problems (it’s against the law; you could be arrested). Teens who drink alcohol are more likely to fight and commit crimes.

People who regularly drink also have difficulties at school. Drinking can affect a student’s ability to get good grades and study, as well sports performance.

Drinking alcohol can make you look stupid. Alcohol can cause people to do embarrassing or stupid things like poop on themselves or throw up. Alcohol can also cause bad breath and a hangover.

Alcohol is harmful to your health. Teens drinking alcohol are more likely than others to engage in sexual activity and unprotected sexual contact, which may lead to unwanted pregnancies or sexually transmitted disease. When you are under the influence, your risk of injury, and even death, increases. Alcohol is a factor in half of drowning deaths involving teen boys. Alcohol use increases the risk of a teenager being involved in a fatal car accident, homicide or suicide.

Teenagers who drink are also more likely to gain weight or develop health problems. In one study, people who regularly drank 5 or more drinks consecutively starting at the age of 13 were more likely to have high blood-pressure or be overweight by 24 years old than nondrinkers. People who drink heavily into adulthood are at risk of damaging their organs such as the heart, liver and brain.

What Can I do to Avoid Drinking Alcohol?

It can be difficult to refuse if all of your friends are drinking and you do not. Nobody wants to feel rejected or left behind. Diverse strategies work for different people when it comes to refusing alcohol. Others find it more effective to explain their reasons (I don’t drink, I have a game tomorrow or my uncle died because of alcohol) than just saying no.

You can blame your parents for making you uncomfortable by refusing alcohol in front of friends and family. Some people find it easier to say no when they use phrases like “My parents will pick me up shortly,” “I got in serious trouble for drinking before, I can’t drink again,” or “my coaches would kill me.”

Plan your strategy ahead of time if you are going to a gathering where you know alcohol will be present. For example, you and your friend could develop a signal to indicate when it is time to leave. Make sure you plan something other than just drinking beer in someone’s cellar all night. Plan a trip for the sports event, concert, movie, or the mall. You could also form a volleyball team, softball or bowling team with your friends.

What is the best place to get help?

Get help as soon you can if you suspect you may have a drinking issue. It is best to speak to a trusted adult. Talk to your doctor, school counsellor, clergy, aunt or uncle if you are unable to approach your parents. Some people find it difficult to approach adults with these issues. However, a supportive adult who is in a good position to assist can refer the student to a drug-and-alcohol counselor for an evaluation and treatment.

This treatment may be completely confidential in some states. A counselor may suggest a short stay in rehab after assessing the problem of a teenager. These centers are designed to help people gradually overcome their physical and mental dependence on alcohol.

What Should I Do If I Am Concerned About Someone Else Drinking?

Sometimes, people live in a home where the parent or another family member drinks excessively. Many people need help to control their drinking. It doesn’t mean they don’t care or love you. Alcoholism needs to be treated like any other illness.

Alcoholics can’t quit drinking until they admit that they have a drinking problem and seek help. It can make family members feel helpless. There are many people who can help you. A supportive adult such as a guidance counselor or an older sibling or relative will understand your situation. Also, professional groups like Alateen are able to help.

Help your friend stay safe if you are concerned about their drinking. You shouldn’t allow your friend to drink and drive. Try to prevent friends who are drunk from doing something dangerous like walking home alone at night or starting a fight. Protect yourself as well. Even if it’s your ride home, don’t get into a car with someone that has been drinking. You can ask a sober driver to take you home or use a taxi or car service.

Even adults make decisions about how much to drink. You can enjoy a party, or any other event, just as much if not even more, without drinking. You’ll also remember the good times you had more clearly if your nervous system is working properly.

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