Facts on Alcohol Use and Abuse

Why do teens start to drink early?
As kids move through puberty they encounter dramatic physical and emotional changes such as puberty causing the need for independence which has been associated with alcohol use.

  • Risk taking- the need to seek out and try new things which gives the adolescent brain a thrill
  • Expectancies- kids expect alcohol to be a lot better than it is due to in fluency while growing up through television and movies. Research also shows that many adolescents start to drink at very young ages. People who reported starting to drink before the age of 15 were four times more likely to also report meeting the criteria for alcohol dependence at some point in their lives.

What kinds of events make kids want to drink?
School, the social pressure, and the movies and the music today are some of the main reasons
kids drink. According to PBS, drinking helps some teens escape the madness of the real world. Many teens say "drinking helps me have a good time". For people who are too stressed out, shy, or nervous to have a good time in a situation. Teens who think alcohol is cool which is approximately 30 percent of 12th graders, engage in heavy episodic drinking, now popularly termed “binge” drinking which is the cool thing to do supposedly now a days.
What are some typical ways that people deny drinking problems?
Drastically underestimating how much you drink
- Downplaying the negative consequences of your drinking
- Complaining that family and friends are exaggerating the problem
- Blaming your drinking or drinking-related problems on others

About what percent do teens drink/do drugs in the US?
Nearly three quarters of students (72%) have consumed alcohol (more than just a few sips) by the end of high school, and more than a third (37%) have done so by eighth grade.

  • Teens who drink alcohol are more likely than nondrinkers to smoke marijuana, use inhalants, or carry a weapon.
  • Binge drinking substantially increases the likelihood of these activities.

Can you still live a normal life is there is alcohol abuse in it?
According to, a functional alcoholic may seem to live a completely normal life but it’s only a matter of time before the signs of alcohol abuse appear and life starts to unravel.
It is not true that if you drink a lot and excessively but your life goes on as normal that you do not have a problem, its wishful thinking. Alcohol progression means that you won’t be able to keep up the act anymore.

What can you do if you know you are abusing alcohol and want to stop?
First you have to admit that you have a problem. Then you have to reach out for help.
Recovering from an alcohol addiction is easier if you have a large support group of friends and family.

Views and Opinions


Alcohol can be used as a cleaner and is made up of yeast or bacteria that change the sugars in regular food. Just think that you are putting bacteria in your body without even knowing it! People that consume alcohol also use drugs and are at a higher risk of more dangerous interactions. A person that uses drugs or alcohol has a high chance of fatal poisoning. Risks of consuming alcohol include, blurred vision, unable to walk straight, mental confusion, impaired judgment, etc.

"Sobering News"

This article is about a new opinion that is saying that early alcohol abuse like in teenagers may cause memory loss and even permanent brain damage. More research needs to be come, but what has been seen is the idea that "teens who drink heavily may not realize their full potential." The article goes on to say that many scientists believe that peoples skulls or hippocampus (region of the brain associated with memory and learning) is actually getting smaller, thus making teenagers who abuse alcohol ‘dumber’.
"SOBERING NEWS." Current Events, a Weekly Reader publication 17 Nov. 2000: 1.
Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 31 Mar. 2011

Ting-Kai Li- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Here, Ting-Kai Li, the director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism shows that youth is the part of life where alcoholism is most likely to begin. He says that the younger an adolescent is who begins drinking early on will lead to the development of alcoholism. Ting-Kai also discusses what advances are being made in hopes to help kids refrain from drinking at an early age and what colleges are doing to stop the alcohol abuse going on on campuses.

Laws that pertain to our issue

- You can't serve alcohol if you are younger than 18 in certain states but a law enforced by almost all the states is that your blood alcohol level cannot be above 0.08.
- Alcohol is not to be sold to anyone under the age of 21 and only can be drank in the following situations:
  • An established religious purpose, accompanied by a parent, spouse or legal guardian age 21 or older
  • Medical purposes when prescribed or administered by a licensed physician, pharmacist, dentist, nurse, hospital or medical institution
  • In private clubs or establishments
  • In the course of lawful employment by a duly licensed manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer.

- It is unlawful for a person under 21 years of age knowingly to drive a car with alcohol in it unless accompanied by a parent.
· Driving while under the influence may result in a 1,000 dollar fine and up to two years of imprisonment. A breathalyzer may be taken if a police officer has reason to believe you are driving under the influence.

Church Statement:
The Fifth Commandment: Though Shall not kill
Catechism of the Catholic Church

Respect for Health
The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others' safety on the road, at sea, or in the air.

"USCCB - Catechesis in the Catholic Church." United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Web. 31 Mar. 2011. <>

Each of the members separate pages for more information

Julia's Page : This is the homepage for 1st hour's Use/Abuse of Alcohol group
Mackenzie's page : 1st hour Morality/ USE-ABUSE OF ALCOHOL
Madeline's Page : Use and Abuse of Alcohol