Teenage Alcohol Use

Certain things harmoniously co-exist: peanut butter and jelly, gin and tonic, steak and eggs; alcohol and
teenagers do not. We are faced with an epidemic of monstrous proportions, which, if left untreated, will
jeopardize the future of America’s youth. Only in the past few years have parents and teachers spoken
openly about our national problem; they recognize the potential threat and hope to tame it as it continues to
manifest. Unfortunately, the harm inflicted by Jack Daniel’s and his constituents could prove to be lifelong.
Low self-esteem, and insecurities coupled with an unsatiable desire to fit in are three key elements in
explaining teenage alcohol abuse.

Low self-esteem is a part of adolescence, although teenagers run into difficulty when they don’t outgrow
this temporary stage. The pressure they receive from their parents to succeed often makes the students
wonder if they can live up to the expectations. When the parent’s desires are not met, the teens think that
they are worthless and undeserving. This cycle leads to the student’s ambition to forget about problems,
worries, and parents. Alcohol fills this craving by rendering teens anesthetized, and when they emerge
from the induced stupor, they want to repeat it all over again.

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People of all ages wrestle with personal insecurity, but this impediment especially targets high school and
college students. Many students are not sure what profession they plan to pursue although society pushes
them to choose very early in life. On the other hand, teens are taught to be young and free without caring
about the personal ramifications. These conflicting ideologies leave many students bewildered and
insecure. The easily available companion that bolsters their strength and aids their forbearance is alcohol.
The loneliness, tumult, chaos, and despair are shoved into the background when they experience
intoxication.

The human need to feel a sense of belonging drives everyone to participate in social activities. Once this
need is fulfilled, we settle into our friendly communities without bothering to look back. Unfortunately,
not everyone finds their niche. Many students become lost in the intricate web of teenage cliques. They
attempt to impress their peers by outrageous and uncharacteristic actions. These futile attempts often
further the students from any meaningful relationships, thus, leading them back to the seemingly true
comrade: alcohol.

Adolescent and college age alcohol abusers often do not realize the full extent of their addiction. They
usually try to hide their problem with superficial happiness, decent grades, or an ostensible love life. While
many abusers can sustain this phony lifestyle for a period of time, an unforeseen mishap will send their
lives into a never-ending downward spiral. Only time will tell the future of America’s youth; I just hope
there’s enough time to tell.

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