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November 29, 2015
Matthew’s Story of Underage Drinking and Getting Caught
I received a ticket for underage consumption at college in April 2015. I have learned from the event and participated in a diversion program at college and through the police department which includes a class on alcohol and community service. I received the ticket because underage drinking is illegal. I have also learned why alcohol can be a bad choice by participating in a class at college related to this event. I am going to highlight what I have learned as far as why alcohol can be a bad thing to use.
For as long as humans have been drinking alcohol, they’ve also been arguing about the good and the bad. There are always back-and-forth arguments depending on who you talk to over whether alcohol is good for you or bad for you. College kids seem to drink because they think it’s fun. I don’t think college kids think about the bad and the effects it can have on the body in addition to legal trouble.
Alcohol can be argued to be good and can be argued to be bad to the body. The difference lies mostly in the amount a person drinks. Moderate drinking some say can be good for the heart. Heavy drinking causes people to make bad choices like driving impaired. Heavy drinking is known to be bad for your heart and liver. Heavy drinking can cause depression and some cancers. Heavy drinking can damage relationships.
Alcohol’s good and bad isn’t a surprise. It directly influences the stomach, brain, heart, gallbladder, and liver. It also alters mood, concentration, and coordination and decision making.
The terms “moderate” and “a drink” causes arguments about what it means.
Some might think “moderate drinking” means less than one drink per day. For other people it might mean 3 or 4 drinks a day. Exactly what is “a drink” is also argued between people – is it one beer, one full glass of wine, one half glass of wine, 4 ounces of liquor or 8 ounces of liquor.
Whatever moderate drinking really is – drinking any alcohol definitely needs to be balanced. Moderate drinking I think means the point at where there might be health benefits and there is no risk to mental or physical health.
What are some of the possible health benefits associated with moderate alcohol consumption? Some studies show it might reduce the risk of heart attack. This is because it basically raises good cholesterol. Good cholesterol means protection against heart disease. It also prevents formation of blot clots that can block arteries and cause heart attacks and stroke. Alcohol also seems to block vitamin B from your tissues which has shown to cause cancer. People with high vitamin B in their body have less cancer risk than people with low vitamin b. Since alcohol blocks vitamin b if you drink more than moderately it makes sense that you would be at risk for more cancer.
It is important to health to keep track of how you drink. Having 10 drinks on a night and then not drinking the rest of the week isn’t at all the same as having one drink a day. The weekly total may be the same, but it isn’t healthy to binge drink all in one night.
Not everyone who likes to drink alcohol stops at just one. While most people drink in moderation, some don’t and it is these people that have health problems.
Heavy drinking can cause damage to the body. It can cause inflammation of the liver also scarring of the liver which can cause death. Heavy drinking can increase blood pressure and damage the heart. It has also been linked with cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, breast, and colon and rectum cancer.
Problem drinking also affects families and friends. It plays a role in violence and auto accidents. It also distrupts sleep, causes bad judgment, and is addictive. It can also cause bad interactions or side affects if medication is used with alcohol.
It also seems that alcohol abuse runs in a family, so it seems genetics plays a part in whether someone is prone to alcohol abuse.
The benefits and risks of moderate drinking change over a lifetime. It seems its riskier until middle age when heart problems can develop. It seems younger people abuse more alcohol and are riskier with it but seem to get in more trouble and there doesn’t really seem to be any health benefit.
Because we are all unique it’s really not easy to tell someone if it’s good or bad. Each person has to decide if it has a benefit or a risk. It seems like for young people there really isn’t a benefit at all. Young people don’t usually have heart problems or problems with cholesterol that alcohol might be good for. Young people seem to drink alcohol because they experiment and there seems to be more trouble than good. I learned that it causes trouble not work having.
I am sorry for the choice I made to consume alcohol as a minor and am glad I am getting a chance to make it right. I already kind of know the good and the bad but reading about it is good to do and makes me think that it’s not a good thing to be doing. I am thankful for the chance to make my decision right and learn from it.
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