Becoming an adult does have its benefits, and many young people cannot wait until they are at the age that allows them to drink alcohol. Many people view this time as a right of passage, especially for those people that want to be grown. Consequently, there may be a group of friends and family members waiting to take them out to a bar so that they can say that they bought their first drink.
Before staking claim on this monumental accomplishment, there are some things that most people may not know about alcohol abuse. Although alcohol consumption is common in the United States, it is that first drink that leads the unsuspecting down a long tumultuous path.
1. Sobering Facts – Deadly Toxins
While America is one of the countries that allows legal drinking at a certain age, most people who start this lethal habit may not know all of the consequences surrounding the substance that they take into their bodies. In fact, it is important for all struggling alcoholics to know that the family of compounds that makes up alcohol can be described as deadly toxins. Consequently, these toxins are lethal, and will eventually kill the individual. Gradually, quickly, or instantly are all on the table, so it is important for anyone who is abusing alcohol at any time to be aware of their potential fate. For instance, young college students who play these long alcoholic binging games can expect an instant fate no less than death at any time.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are over 4,700 alcohol related deaths in the United States each year, all of which are young people under the age of 21. This is a sobering fact for those who want to stake claim on buying the first drink and those who choose to take the first one at the legal age.
2. Binge Drinking Is not Limited to the Young and Foolish
While binge drinking is often associated as a staple among the youth in their college years, it is also a reality in the adult world as well. Based on information provided by the CDC, beginning with the age of 18, there are approximately 1.5 billion cases of binge drinking each year.
Adults contribute their fair share to this national problem by binging approximately four times a month. According to national surveys, 1 in 6 adults are included in these numbers. This kind of drinking can be found in households that have an income level of $75,000 and more versus the lower income households.
Active duty military personnel play a primary role in these types of activities since more than half of all their binge cases have been reported in various Center for Disease and Prevention Control studies. While the greatest risks for binging are among the youngest service members, the studies could not exclude portions of the older military personnel that were exposed to combat.
Even though these bingers may perform these lethal acts, more than 90% of all bingers are not considered to be dependent upon alcohol in their daily lives.
3. Public Health and Safety Concerns
Since alcohol abuse is commonplace in the United States, most people may not think of drinking as a public health and safety problem. In fact, many people may not view alcohol abuse as a significant problem until they hear of someone being killed while under the influence. Although these accidents may highlight the issues, it does not delve into other underlying problems that pose a wide variety of different public health and safety concerns. Some of these problems include violence, increase in premature births, mental defects, neurological problems, hepatitis, and cirrhosis along with a large host of other long-term health risks.
4. Underage Drinking Leads to Serious Consequences
Attempted suicide, violent behaviors toward peers, unprotected sex with multiple sex partners, are all on the long list of underage alcohol abuse consequences. This is a wide spread problem that affects both boys and girls in the United States, as well as other countries. According to helpguide.org and Harvard Health Publications, kids are experimenting as early as 11 years of age. Consequently, they can suffer from a diversity of problems including mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Unfortunately, even if these same individuals make it successfully through their formative years, they can still be plagued with alcoholism and other problems when they reach their adult years. The percentage of drinkers per girl/boy ratio is 14% for girls and 15% for boys. As a general rule, the child that starts drinking at the age of 14 or younger is 6 times more likely to have alcohol problems when they reach adulthood than those who have waited until the legal age to drink. Therefore, it is essential for parents to talk with their children and emphasize the importance of not drinking before their close friends and other family members can influence them to take their first sip.
5. Quitting the Habit and Harsh Side Effects
Before an individual takes their first drink, they should be equipped with all of the facts, specifically those that address quitting and the harsh side effects.
Approximately 3/4 of all adults in the United States drink alcohol, and approximately 6% are classed as alcoholics. Although the 6% may appear to be small, this small percentage does apply to the entire group. Therefore, before an individual takes their first sip, they should know in advance what they should look forward to.
In addition to the prospect of becoming an alcoholic, the individual should also be equipped with the facts surrounding how harsh it would be to quit. Listed below is a brief description of things that most people will not tell an individual when they are offering them their first drink:
- Alcohol is filled with lots of calories – Consequently, alcoholics have very poor diets
since most of their calories will come out of the bottle.
- Withdrawal Nightmares – Some people like to drink because it allows them to wind down
in the evening hours and sleep better. While this practice may feel good for a period
of time, too many consecutive days can cause an addiction. Consequently, when the
person tries to quit the habit, these restful nights are turned into long nights
filled with bouts of nightmares.
- Quitting the habit and the stench – When trying to quit, these harmful toxins are
released from the person’s body. During this time-frame, alcoholics have a foul odor
that cannot be controlled by taking the normal shower.
In many circles, the right of passage is widely known as that first drink. Even though it may be a common event for many adults in the United States, there are many things that most people do not know. Deadly toxins, binge drinking, public health and safety concerns, serious consequences of under age drinking and the harsh side effects of quitting are all on the list of things that people should be aware of before they take their first sip.