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Teenage Alcoholism What is alcohol Alcohol is many things to many people To little kids it is a curiosity To teenagers it is cool To responsible drinkers it is a relaxant To bartenders it is a job their lives To restaurant owners it is a moneymaker To probation officers it is a frustration To actively drinking alcoholics it is heaven To wives and husbands of drinking alcoholics it is a waste To recovering alcoholics it is a painful old friend To us it is something to be learned about and controlled Dolmetsch p4 The definition of alcoholism stresses the basic elements of 1 chronicity 2 compulsive uncontrollable drinking 3 intoxication and 4 interruption of normal life functions Claypool p 91 When the drinkers work social life study habits mental health or family and personal relationships are affected the possibility exists that the drinker may be an alcoholic If the drinker is able to stop drinking permanently then he is not considered to be an alcoholic For teenagers and adults alcohol is the most commonly abused drug It is easy to get easy to use and as common in our society as aspirin Claypool p 62 Millions of American teenagers drink alcohol Young people drink for many reasons whether its to escape the daily stress of school or family life or to fit in with their friends But sadly enough many teenagers discover too late that drinking cannot solve any of their problems Teenage drinking is now one of the most serious problems that young people face Landau intro In 1977 Senator Frank J Dodd stated Alcoholism is one of the greatest health problems in the United States and is one that afflicts individuals in virtually all social and economic categories and varying age groups Claypool pp 90 -91 From the time children reach the age of 13 63 percent of the boys and 54 percent of the girls have at least tried their first
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