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substance abuse

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    3 Hard Truths About Drinking Underage

    3 Hard Truths About Drinking Underage

    by guest blogger Josephine 

    At some point in our teenage years, we become introduced to the idea of alcohol. In some cultures, families introduce wine to their children at a somewhat younger age and in doing so will give them a small glass of wine at dinner time. It teaches them to be responsible drinkers in the future. In most countries, the legal drinking age is 18, so as soon as they are adults, they can drink legally and responsibly and also start to learn about what kind of drinks they like. In American culture, we are stereotyped as reckless drinkers who party all of the time. This stereotype is not entirely true, but the legal drinking age being 21 makes some people not be able to learn how to drink moderately and responsibly at a young age and instead some people take it and go crazy. This law also imposes some dangers on anyone under 21 who may try and drink anyways. Not only is it illegal, but as teenagers we tend to think we are invincible when in reality we are not, so sometimes we feel that these dangers do not apply to us. These are the three hard truths about drinking underage as not only Americans but as teens in America.

    #1. Jail is a real possibility – If you are in possession of alcohol or have alcohol in your system, you will get arrested. If you are driving with alcohol in your system, then you will get a DUI no matter what no matter how little alcohol is in your system. When you are not responsible if you drink underage, it can put you behind bars and ruin your personal record.

    #2. You won’t truly have fun if you aren’t being responsible, no matter what age – Not only is jail a possibility when drinking underage but the morning after can reveal any bad decisions you made the night before. When you are new to drinking and are figuring things out on your own, you may not know about certain things like the severity of a hangover or what that one drunk text can do to your dignity. You may have fun for a moment or two but if you aren’t responsible the consequences can surpass the fun you had the previous night. This is one of those things that most people end up learning the hard way.

    #3. People have died from drinking too much and drinking recklessly – This is another “you aren’t invincible” piece of advice. Those who lose someone from alcohol-related incidences tend to be more careful when they drink; I know some people who don’t drink at all because they lost someone due to reckless drinking. These types of incidences can include drunk driving, alcohol poisoning, or even raging drunks who have hurt others while under the influence. Whatever you do, don’t pose a threat to yourself and especially those around you.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with drinking when you are being responsible, and even more importantly you are in a safe space and/or with people who you feel safe around. We all love having a glass of wine with dinner or having a beer with friends. Nonetheless, the drinking age is 21 and you will always have the possibility of putting yourself in danger when you decide to pick up a drink until you reach that age. It can be easy to stay sober in high school, but harder once you graduate and you have older friends. Just remember to remain cautious and always stay aware of your surroundings. If you are being reckless, you are not only putting yourself at risk but those around you as well.

  • Alcohol

    Underage Drinking: The Myths & The Facts

    You probably see and hear a lot about alcohol—from TV, movies, music, and your friends. But what are the real facts about underage alcohol use?

     

    Here are some common myths—and sobering facts—about alcohol use:

    Myth: Alcohol isn’t as harmful as other drugs

    Fact: Alcohol increases your risk for many deadly diseases, such as cancer. Drinking too much alcohol too quickly can lead to alcohol poisoning, which can kill you.

    Myth: Drinking is a good way to loosen up at parties

    Fact: Drinking is a dumb way to loosen up. It can make you act silly, say things you shouldn’t say, and do things you wouldn’t normally do (like get into fights or have sex).

     

    Myth: Drinking alcohol will make me cool.

    Fact: There’s nothing cool about stumbling around, passing out, or puking on yourself. Drinking alcohol also can cause bad breath and weight gain.

     

    Myth: All of the other kids drink alcohol. I need to drink to fit in.

    Fact: If you really want to fit in, stay sober. Most young people don’t drink alcohol. Research shows that more than 70 percent of youth aged 12 to 20 haven’t had a drink in the past month.

     

    Myth: I can sober up quickly by taking a cold shower or drinking coffee.

    Fact: On average, it takes 2 to 3 hours for a single drink to leave the body. Nothing can speed up the process, including drinking coffee, taking a cold shower, or “walking it off.”

     

    Myth: Adults drink, so kids should be able to drink too.

    Fact: A young person’s brain and body are still growing. Drinking alcohol can cause learning problems or lead to adult alcoholism. People who begin drinking before age 15 are five times more likely to abuse or become dependent on alcohol than those who begin drinking after age 21

     

    Myth: Beer and Wine are safer than liquor.

    Fact: Alcohol is alcohol … it can cause you problems no matter how you consume it. One 12-ounce bottle of beer or a 5-ounce glass of wine (about a half-cup) has as much alcohol as a 1.5-ounce shot of liquor. Alcopops—sweet drinks laced with malt liquor—often contain more alcohol than beer!

     

    Myth: I can drink alcohol and not have any problems.

    Fact: If you’re under 21, drinking alcohol is a big problem: It’s illegal. If caught, you may have to pay a fine, perform community service, or take alcohol awareness classes. Kids who drink also are more likely to get poor grades in school, and are at higher risk for being a crime victim.

    Do you think you or a friend has an alcohol problem?

    Don’t wait—get help. Talk to a parent, doctor, teacher, or anyone you trust.

    For information and referrals, call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 800–662–HELP (4357) (in English and en español).

    An online substance abuse treatment locator is available here

    A local substance abuse treatment locator is available here

    Also, check out the federal portal of underage drinking prevention resources at:

    Stop Alcohol Abuse
    Too Smart to Start

    From: Too Smart To Start

  • Drugs

    Drug Use & Abuse

    There are many drugs out there and, because many of these drugs are new, little research has been done about the effects of taking them.

    It is known that many of the drugs are being manufactured in home labs with no quality control standards. This means at the very least, dose levels may vary from tablet to tablet, and additional harmful ingredients may be added.

    Get the Facts First

    Taking drugs can be dangerous – not only because of the physical impact they can have on your body, but they can also limit your ability to set limits, be aware of your environment, and realize when you are in danger.

    The information below is provided to help you identify different types of drugs and their effects on one’s body. Because there are many risks involved with using drugs, it’s best to obtain the information now, and make an informed decision before you are placed in a situation where you will have to choose to take a drug or turn it down.

    What Really Happens

    Your brain produces chemicals that allow you to feel emotions: happiness, pain, anger, and depression. Some drugs input the chemical that causes a feeling of extreme euphoria. As you take more drugs, your brain receives so much of this “happy chemical” that it starts to create less of it.

    Therefore, without drugs, you feel constantly unhappy; you need the drug to feel joy. You are compelled to take more to attain that feeling. After a while, low-scale drugs like marijuana will no longer provide you with the joy you need, and you will find yourself yearning for more joy and moving on to more dangerous drugs such as crystal meth and cocaine.

    These are the makings of an addict. Why are drugs so detrimental? They result in a chemical process that you cannot control.

    The Big Question?

    There is no way to predict how drugs will affect you. It depends on the chemistry of your body. According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, up to 75 percent of drug users become addicted. Is that a risk you are willing to take?

    Types of Drugs

    • Club & Date Rape Drugs

    • Chloral Hydrate
    • Ecstasy
    • Fentanyl
    • Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB)
    • Ketamine
    • Oxycodone
    • Rohypnol

     

    • Depressants

    • Barbiturates
    • Benzodiazepines
    • Quaaludes

     

    • Hallucinogens

    • Dimethyltryptamine (DMT)
    • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)
    • Phencyclidine (PCP)
    • Peyote
    • Psilocybin

     

    • Inhalants

     

    • Marijuana

    • Marijuana Wetsticks

     

    • Narcotics

    • Codeine
    • Heroin
    • Morphine
    • Opium

    • Prescription Drugs

    • Steroids

    • Stimulants

    • Amphetamines
    • Caffeine
    • Cocaine
    • Diet Pills
    • Methamphetamine
    • Ritalin

    From: Sutter Health