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Zayra Martinez

Ms. Lindsay

US History P.5

26 January 2018


The social issue that I am interested in discussing is adolescent drinking. Adolescent and

underage drinking is one of the leading health problems in this country. Around 5,000 young

consumers from the ages of 21 and under pass away from alcohol use incidents. Many young

people also become alcoholics and not only harm themselves but others as well. “​For example,

frequent binge drinkers (nearly 1 million high school students nationwide) are more likely to

engage in risky behaviors, including using other drugs such as marijuana and cocaine, having sex

with six or more partners, and earning grades that are mostly Ds and Fs in school (10).”

(NIH,Underage Drinking,January 2006). A girl I grew up with is currently an alcoholic and a

drug addict. She started her substance abuse problem when she was 14. Ever since then, she has

developed an addiction. As of right now, she is either drinking, smoking, or popping pills. Her

addiction has affected herself, family and others as well. This old friend doesn’t attend school,

has been arrested, put on probation, been in many unhealthy sexual relationships, continuous

fights with friends and family etc. Seeing how negatively this has impacted her in just a year, is

very horrifying.

There are many ways to prevent adolescents from drinking. For example, stepping up

enforcement laws, more school alcohol and drug prevention classes, and family based prevention

programs. Additionally, it is important for educators and parents to notice changes in their
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students and children. Drug and alcohol related deaths, addictions, and illegal distribution, can

decline with the appropriate steps put in place to protect children and young adults. Programs

like “The Addiction Center” a non profit group with a designated hotline to help teens who do

not feel comfortable reaching out to their parents or teachers. ​“It’s important not to downplay

teenage drinking or drug abuse. Some may “grow out” of this behavior, but even those who do

are subject to negative consequences of drug abuse that may be long-lasting,” Programs like

these can help young people avoid mental health problems, and academic issues associated with

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(person stays anonymous) - threw up on herself and then fell asleep.