a pint beer or cider.
small glass of wine
small measure of spirits
small glass of sherry
One unit of alcohol is
equivalent to each of the above. Webster's Encyclopaedic Unabridged
Dictionary of the English Language defines alcoholism as "a diseased condition
due to the excessive use of alcoholic beverages" .
In a medical sense, the
physical effects are quite frightening. There is a great risk of cirrhosis and
liver cancer. The brain tissue is destroyed and can't be replaced .
Historically speaking, even in ancient times, the use of beer and wine
sometimes led to drunkenness. Moderation was the most frequently recommended
remedy. Peer pressure contributes to more and more teenagers consuming alcohol. "Eight
out of every ten high school seniors have tried alcohol more than once".
Teenagers may not have much experience with alcohol, so it's hard for them to
judge their own limits. Since they are less mature than adults, they are more
likely to overact and lose control when intoxicated. To show evidence of the
effects of alcohol on teenagers, a couple of case studies have been selected.
The first one involves David, a 17 year old high school senior.
He was a gifted athlete and scholar until he turned to alcohol. The symptoms
began to show up by David infuriating his basketball coach and being told to
never come back to the team. His grades started to slip badly and was unaware
that that the quantity of alcohol that he was consuming had a direct toll on
him. When he finally realized that it was time to stop drinking, he could not
do it. Finally, he went to intervention and that was the best decision of his
life. This teenager was one of the lucky ones. He recognized the fact that he
had a problem, sought out help and was cured.
The next case study involved a high school student who earned good grades and
played football. Like many teenagers, Jeff Kellogg drank a bit on weekends with
his friends. Although being drunk, Jeff decided to drive home after a party.
That particular night the roads were wet and snowy. He crashed into a utility
pole and was rushed to a hospital where he was declared dead. His parents knew
of his drinking and would punish him hoping that he would stop. While being
intoxicated, a persons' judgment and vision is impaired. Teenagers who feel no
pain temporarily may indeed make wrong decisions.
The answer to teenage alcoholism as well as other teenage problems is a one
word answer; parents. The people who gave birth to you are the ones that are
responsible for you and are ultimately the ones who will suffer the most when
things go bad. In most situations, the teen is living at home and is actually
crying out for help. Will anyone listen? Parents hope
for the best and pray that situations will work themselves out by themselves.
Each generation has their own set of problems. Yesterday's remedy will not work
today. Professional services are available and should be used. The parent must
spend the time to know their teen!