Ashley’s Atlas: Fatal mistakes only a drink away

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Ashley’s Atlas: Fatal mistakes only a drink away

Photo by Ashley Farris

Photo by Ashley Farris

Photo by Ashley Farris

Photo by Ashley Farris

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The weeks surrounding the lighting the menorah, feasting on Kwanza and decorating the Christmas tree can be a festive family and friend time, but on the road, too much celebration can be deadly, especially if it is from an underage drinker.

With the holiday here, many teens will be all the more tempted to drink to their hearts content, completely ignoring all the consequences that can provide many permanent effects.

Underage drinking is not only illegal, but it puts lives in danger.  The Center of Disease Control (Oct. 20, 2016), there were approximately 189,000 emergency rooms visits by persons under age 21 for injuries and other conditions related to alcohol.

Dependence on alcohol is another serious consequence when the decision on opening that beer during a family or high school party can make. One minute an underage teen make take a drink thinking they are going to have a fun time, but instead waking up in the ER with an I.V. stuck in their arm.

According to The Official Guide to Government Information and Services (2014) ‘Fact Sheets-Underage Drinking,’ “Teens who start drinking before age 15 years are five times more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse later in life than those who begin drinking at or after the legal age of 21.”

The age of 15 is too young to be hooked on something as dangerous as alcohol. Alcohol does more harm than good when abused. Instead of drinking, a 15-year-old should care more about their first Homecoming dance, learning how to drive, dating and getting a job. Coming of age moments should outweigh the urge to drink.

Relatives can ensure that alcohol is out of the reach of minors and ensure everyone is driving on the roads safe. Protocols are important when it comes to holidays events because it confirms the safety of everyone on and off the road. Parents who let minors drink at the holidays are asking to be sued and jailed.

Not only are underage drinkers putting others at risk, they are doing irreparable damage to themselves, too.

According to National Institute of Drug Abuse (2004). “Because of legal and ethical constraints on alcohol research in human adolescents…The adolescent brain may be uniquely sensitive to alcohol’s effects because major changes in brain structure and function occur during this developmental period.”

These major changes can affect the body for a lifetime, causing several health issues including disabilities the rest of their lives. Exerting an adolescent body like this is foolish. High school years should be something to remember, not drink away.

In less than an hour, people may make poor decisions that cut the thread on their own life and the lives of others. Alcohol becomes fate itself because it decides when the intoxicated can cause tragedy.

According to Driving Laws, “Underage drinkers are more reckless and less likely to wear seatbelts. In most states, anyone under 21 operating a motor vehicle with a BAC level of .02 percent or higher can be cited for a DUI.”

Being intoxicated can impair judgement as simple as wearing a seat belt.

As fast as a click, an underage drunk driver’s life, and those lives around him or her, are done.

Underage drinking should not be taken lightly, especially during the holidays. The holidays are supposed to be happy and cheerful, not about wondering if the roads are safe from irresponsible drivers.

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