Youth/Teens

So what's The Real Deal with underage drinking?

  • No known health benefits to consuming alcohol…none.
  • Alcohol is toxic to our bodies.
  • It’s the law and you can receive a juvenile civil citation which may lead to a fine, community service, and an alcohol counseling intervention.
  • Your parents will be disappointed.
  • Public drunkenness can be extremely embarrassing.
  • You can be harmed or harm others due to impaired judgment.
  • You can injure or kill yourself or others if driving due to loss of coordination.
  • Alcohol poisoning can kill you. Once your BAC reaches around .3, you are at grave risk of a total central nervous system shutdown.

 Underage drinking can lead to risky sexual behavior

Did you know?

  • Students who plan to attend college report drinking less than those who are not planning to attend.
  • According to 2013 AlcoholEdu statistics, 72% of freshman matriculating to college reported that they had not consumed alcohol in the last 30 days.
  • Not everyone's doing it. 2 out of 3 high school students in Allegany County are not drinking alcohol.

How alcohol affects us

  • As soon as the chemical properties of alcohol enter our bloodstream, the brain and central nervous system begin to recognize the toxic substance.
  • Alcohol initially stimulates brain activity by exciting neurotransmission (buzz).
  • However, as the level of toxicity increases, normal neurotransmission is disrupted and confused (impaired).
  • The disruption eventually affects the cerebellum (controls muscle movement) and we experience loss of coordination.
  • As impairment continues, the medulla (brain stem), which controls heart rate, breathing, and body temperature can stop sending signals through the central nervous system which will result in death.

Percent of alcohol by volume

  • Beer = 4%
  • Wine = 12%
  • Alcoholic Energy Drinks = 12%
  • Liquor = 40%

Risks or harms associated with drinking alcohol

  • Legal: getting a citation or arrested; losing your driver’s license or not being able to get one
  • Social: embarrassed or humiliated yourself due to impaired judgment; sexual indiscretions; argued or fought with friends
  • Academic: doing poorly on tests/assignments; inability to concentrate; disrupting brain development (through age 24)
  • Career: once you turn 18, every contact with the police becomes a matter of public record; try explaining an arrest or citation to a future employer or college
  • Health: being hung-over; throwing up; impaired athletic performance, muscle growth, and injury recovery; alcohol poisoning; long term health risks

So what's The Real Deal about marijuana?

  • Marijuana is addictive. Period.
  • Regular use is cognitively impairing, affecting motivations, attention, learning and memory.
  • Use during the adolescent years may cause significant, possibly permanent IQ loss.
  • Legalization will increase teen marijuana use.
  • Those who use marijuana regularly are more prone to depression, anxiety, irritability, and increased sensitivity to stress.
  • The “big marijuana” industry will reap benefits from hooking a new generation of addicts, much like “big tobacco” did with cigarettes.

Be Yourself!

  • Make your own choices about alcohol and other drugs. Your friends will still be your friends even if you decide not to use.
  • You’ll never disappoint your parents by not drinking or using drugs.
  • You can live a great life without alcohol and other drugs. Millions of teenagers and adults do it every day.
  • Look out for your friends. If they are drinking too much, talk to them about stopping or cutting back. They’ll respect you for it.

Helful Resources

The links to the websites listed above are provided for additional information purposes and are neither endorsed nor approved by Frostburg State University.