Teenage Drinking Essay

Although there has been a decrease in the percent of high school seniors that have used alcohol but still eighty percent of high school seniors have used alcohol. (The setting of adolescent alcohol and drug use. 1) Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)

says “During a typical weekend, an average of one teenager each hour is in a car crash. Just about fifty percent of those crashes involve alcohol (1). A study was conducted with 449 juniors and seniors attending two Midwestern high schools between the ages of sixteen to nineteen. The study came across at all the different settings where adolescents use alcohol and drugs. They also looked at the emphasis gender and peer groups had on the place where consumption of alcohol and drugs occurs and settings where it is most likely to take place (Teenage Drinking in America. 1).

Does the setting affect the use of alcohol and drugs by adolescents? Is that setting determined by what kind of an individual you are (i.e. jock, outcast, preps, and geeks)? Alcohol consumption differs universally between male and female but also across different age groups and of social status (Teenage Drinking in America. 2). 81% of boys and 83% of girls admitted to ever using alcohol in their lifetime. On the other hand 46% of boys and 41% of girls admitted to ever using marijuana in their lifetime (6). Social crowd association has been extremely foretelling of drug and alcohol use in adolescence (3). As anticipated the group that they called the “toughies” was related to a greater substance use than any other group (6). Brown says crowds are “reputation based collectives of similarly stereotyped individuals who may or may not spend time together (3).” Females were found to most likely report using alcohol at family parties and to a certain extent in their homes than male alcohol users (9). Drinking while driving, before school events, and on streets were more common than at home with parents and or guardians (3).

According to MADD, the vast majority of young people (79%) say that being drunk is appealing because it feels good. Amongst the many other reasons given are relaxation and escape. Some teenagers use alcohol as an outlet for all the stress and problems in their life (The setting of adolescent alcohol and drug use. 1). Even though the numbers might be decreasing, the problem still remains. The misconception that alcohol is not a risky drug is only going to continue to increase the numbers of teenagers using alcohol (2). The social morays have changed to be acceptant of teenage drinking. Possibly this is one of the main reasons why alcohol use often turns into alcohol abuse at such an early age (1).