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Underage drinking is an issue that requires immediate attention as young people are becoming alcoholics at very young ages. Research has shown that young people begin to take alcohol at around the age of fourteen. When people begin to take alcohol at very young ages, they are more likely to become alcohol dependent in the future. Research has also shown that young people who take alcohol at their early ages are more likely to engage in behaviors that are harmful to them and to other people than those who don’t use alcohol. Young people who use alcohol will most probably engage in other activities such as use of drugs, high-risk sex activities, etc. this paper will seek to address the issue of underage alcohol, its effects, and what can be done to prevent it.

The Issue in Underage Alcoholism

Alcohol has been found to be the drug that is mostly used among the young people. Use of alcohol by the young also forces them to engage in some very risky behaviors that are very dangerous in their lives. The population of the young people is at the moment endangered by alcohol than any other drug. Also among the young people, alcohol causes the largest percentage of drug related deaths than all other drugs. Use of alcohol also affects the physical and mental health of the young people who use it (Johnstone, 2003). Research has shown that the young people who begin using beer at the age of fourteen are more likely to become alcohol dependent than those who wait until they are twenty one years. For the young people who use excessive alcohol, the chance that their health will be affected by the use of alcohol is as high as that of adults who use alcohol excessively. These young people are at a high risk of developing long-term health problems associated with alcohol such as liver cirrhosis, hemorrhagic stroke, pancreatitis, etc. The young people who use alcohol at a very early age are more likely to become sexually active than their age mates who do not use alcohol. The young people also have a higher probability of having sex more often than their non-alcoholic age mates and they are more likely to engage in unprotected sex than these age mates. This increases their risks of contracting sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, syphilis, etc. Alcoholic adolescents have higher chances of experiencing depression than non-alcoholic adolescents of the same age. If young female adolescents use alcohol during pregnancy, they

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risk damaging the brains of the unborn children although this is the same case as for adult females.

Alcohol introduced to a young brain causes more damage than it can do to the brain of an adult. The rate at which a young brain will be damaged is also fast in comparison to mature brain (Johnstone, 2003). A person who has been introduced to alcohol at a very young age is more likely to perform poorly in class than a person who has been introduced to alcohol in his or her adulthood. About 30 percent of students who drop out of school are found to have dropped out of the school due to use of alcohol or a problem related to use of alcohol. Also, the poorest performers in colleges are those students who use alcohol. A student in high school who uses alcohol is five times likely to drop out of school than a student in the same school who don’t use alcohol. Research has also shown that those students who use alcohol do not see the importance of obtaining good grades in school.

Crime related issues in colleges are associated with students who use alcohol (Johnstone, 2003). In fact, about forty percent of the students who are found guilty of crimes are victimized when they are drunk. People who have been found guilty of doing the serious crimes have been found to be drunk when they did these actions. Some people deliberately go to take beer so as to come and perform some weird actions. Most rape cases reported in colleges were performed when the two victims or the assailant was drunkard.

Relevance of Underage Alcoholism to the Health of the Public

Underage drinking is very dangerous to the health of the public. When young people use alcohol, they stand the risk of developing dangerous ailments that can lead to death. Diseases such as liver cirrhosis are very common among frequent and heavy users of alcohol (James, 2007). The death of these young people means a lot to the public because the society cannot grow without young people. As it has been found earlier, adolescent alcohol users are more likely to engage in life-risking events than those who do not use it. Participation of young people in unprotected sex leads to contractual of sexually transmitted diseases that causes death. Since these young drunkards are very active at this young age, they are also likely to participate in sex with many other individuals leading to spread of dangerous diseases such as HIV aids.

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This will result to the death of many other young people who would have become important people in the society were it not for alcohol.

Use of alcohol by pregnant ladies lead to the permanent damage of the children’s brain which causes suffering to the innocent child. Use of alcohol by young school students leads to poor performance by these very students. This can be attributed to the effects of the alcohol on the brain of the student. The performance of a student who begins to take alcohol falls drastically especially when he or she becomes an addict. This is simply because the student is always looking for time to go out and look for alcohol which he or she cannot do without. It has also been found that young people who use alcohol have a don’t-care altitude towards education and these students do not see the importance of performing well in class. The education of these young people is very important to the public since these people could have probably assumed better positions hadn’t they participated in taking of alcohol. Alcohol has also led to the drop out of school by many young people (James, 2007). Crime related issues in colleges have been associated to use of alcohol and most of the victims in these crimes have been found to have taken some beer when these events occurred. Crimes in colleges have led to deaths and extensive damages that consequently lead to use of money in irrelevant ways.

Impact of Young Alcoholism on the Nation

The nation is currently using much money in treating alcohol related cases. This is money that could have been used in development of other important projects than in treating some avoidable problems. The use of alcohol among the youths has led to numerous road accidents when these young people are driving. In general, research has shown that about twenty percent of drivers who lose their lives in crashes are intoxicated. Through such accidents, the nation loses very important people. It is known that young people are the most productive in the entire population and therefore the loss of a young man to the nation especially if the young person dies as a result of using alcohol. Use of alcohol has been found to initiate risky sexual behavior. Use of alcohol not only leads to risky sexual behaviors but also increases the chances of these young people to engage on coercive sexual activities (Bupa, 2002). Many young people have been found to participate in sexual activity when they are drunkard. The drunkards are also likely to participate in unprotected sex which leads to contractual of sexually transmitted diseases. These diseases affect the health of these young people and quite sometime and money is used in addressing the health of these young people. Young people who have committed suicide in their lives have been found being under the influence of alcohol. Depression and stress that are closely associated with alcohol have contributed to the vice

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among these young people. Cases of attempted suicide are also related to people who use alcohol. This shows that the nation is going through a big loss of young people which is quite unethical.

Concerns Associated With Underage Alcoholism

Underage alcoholism has been on the rise over the years (Bupa, 2002). This can be attributed to several issues that are issues of great concern. The beer making companies have the best slogans that they use for advertising their beer. These slogans are very enticing and when the young people watch these advertisements, they become curious and are tempted to find out the real thing that there is in these beers. Another concern on the issue of underage alcoholism is the influence of peers. Quite a high percentage of young people are associated with drinking. If another young person who doesn’t use alcohol joins a group of young people who use alcohol, there is a very high chance that this young man will use alcohol. Some parents also give little beer to their children when they are very young. This acts as a catalyst for that young person when he or she grows up. The moment that that young man will get used to the alcohol, getting him or her out of it is not easy. Some young people use beer because of the fact that their fellow friends in adolescent are using alcohol. The behavioral and cultural milestones make these young people want to be identified with alcohol because that is the case in other people (Bupa, 2002). Young people are these days having money more than ever. This gives them the capacity to proceed to bars and other places to buy alcohol. Money happens to be the source of all evil and thus exposing young people to huge sums of money will definitely result to use of alcohol. Also in the recent days, some sweet non-alcoholic drinks have been manufactured for use by young people instead of using beer. These drinks are meant to be used by these young people in the clubs and thus whenever a young person enters a club, you are tempted to think that he or she is going for the non-alcoholic drink which is not obviously the reason. In fact, these drinks act as paths to get these young people into the clubs where all sorts of alcohol will be found.

Role of Policy Makers in the Issue of Underage Alcoholism

Policy makers have the greatest share in assisting in the reduction of use of alcohol among the young people. As the policy makers pass the laws, they have the right to ban the alcohol advertisements that make the young people aware of the existence of alcohol. As a matter of

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fact, these advertisements contribute a lot to the use of alcohol by young people. Otherwise, if the companies that manufacture these brands must advertise their products, it should be ensured that the viewers are also informed of the dangers that are associated with consumption of alcohol. If the young people are informed of the dangers that they are imposing on themselves by using alcohol, a certain percentage would be turned and avoid the use of such a product (Richard, 2004). Also, sale of alcohol to people under the age of eighteen years should be made illegal such that any person who is found selling alcohol to a person aged eighteen years and below should be prosecuted together with the buyer. Partnerships can be set between the police and alcohol retailers that will be used to address the issue of underage sale of alcohol. The non-alcoholic drinks manufactured for use by young people should also be sold in shops and supermarkets and not in bars. This will reduce the access of bars by these young people. Laws should also be passed to address issue of adults who give alcohol to young people. A punishment should be defined for any person who gives alcohol to the young people even if he or she is the parent. This way, the parent will be worried of giving alcohol to a young person since if he or she does, there is a law that addresses the whole issue.

Concerning the issue of underage alcoholism, as a person who have seen the harm that alcohol can have on the lives of the young people, I would begin by advising parents to avoid use of alcohol in presence of their children. The parents should be on the forefront in advising their children and educating them of the disadvantages of using alcohol (Vanessa, 2004). I would also organize young people into groups and then make arrangements with associations that educate people on the issue of alcohol to come and address these young people. This way, the young people will have the relevant information regarding the use of alcohol. Also, whenever I spot a young person who has began using alcohol, I would talk to him or her and try to help him or her before it is too late. The young person will have an opportunity to avoid the severe stages that are dangerous to their live (Richard, 2004). The advice that I would give to the young people is to avoid peer who use alcohol and that they should try to advise them on the dangers of using alcohol. Parents should also avoid giving a lot of money to their young children because the excess money is leading to the use of alcohol.


Underage alcoholism is on the rise and it is costing the government large sums of money to address problems associated with alcohol. Today, the number of deaths that are related to use alcohol are more than the number of deaths related to use of all other drugs. Alcohol use by the young people leads to poor performance in the classroom, engagement in risky sexual

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activities, depression and stress, etc. also, many crimes committed by students are committed by these students when they are intoxicated. The health of the young people is greatly affected by use of alcohol and this affects the health of the public in that these young people cannot help the nation and in fact, the government spends some money on them. a number of issues have contributed to the use of alcohol by young people. Alcohol advertisement that portrays beer to be very good and peer pressure are among the factors that have made great contributions. The government and the policy makers need to ensure that a lot of information has been given to these young people concerning the use of alcohol and the consequences of the use.


. Retrieved from http://www.bupa.co.uk/health_information/html/health_news/310102drin

k.html                                             on 15-September-2009.

James, A. (2007). Underage Drinking. New York; Cengage Gale, 12-16.

. Retrieved from http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa59.htm on 16-September-2009.

Richard, J. B. (2004). Reducing underage drinking: A Collective Responsibility.

London; national Academie Press, 43-45.

Retrieved from. http://www.azcentral.com/families/articles/0915fam_teendrinking.html