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The Medias Effects on Underage Drinking The use of alcohol is a major aspect of our society It is used in religious ceremonies during socialization and its presence is seen everywhere Second only to caffeine more people drink alcohol than any other substance It appears in many forms such as beer wine and hard liquor It has been praised denounced accepted and outlawed in the past century alone The effects of alcohol are numerous From drunk driving accidents to fetal alcohol syndrome from liver disease to the increased chance of sexually transmitted disease alcohols reach is widespread Alcohol contributes to 100000 deaths annually making it the third leading cause of preventable mortality in the United States McGinnis p 2208 As well 41 of all traffic fatalities the leading cause of accidental death are alcohol-related NHTSA sec 4 p1 Underage drinking is a major problem in our society Thirty-four percent of all high school seniors have had a drink in the past month Johnston p As well 12 million of these seniors are binge drinkers CASA 1997 In eight grade 1 million students admit they have been drunk CASA 1997 In 1996 nine million drinkers were under the age of twenty-one and that number has increased since Approximately two thirds of teenagers who drink can purchase their own beverages HHS p 1 Even worse people who begin drinking before age fifteen quadruple their chances of developing alcoholic tendencies NIAAA P 1 Knowing this the fact that 381 of children age fourteen have had a drink is quite disturbing Everyone admits that it is a problem and how widespread and dangerous it is but no one really tackles the problem at hand They blame it on parents bad teaching and more commonly peer pressure Something had to first influence their peers to influence them The excuse that people are more like to drink if their parents do is also used but what influences their parents to
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