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Alcohol

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Alcohol

Dear Diary,
Today is the day after my 17th birthday. I just woke up and boy, do I have a hangover. I have a headache, I am so thirsty, and my body feels so worn down. I wish I didn’t drink so much last night (“By age of 18 more than 70% of teens have had at least one drink” (US department of Health, 2007)). Hold on…sorry for the interruption but I just vomited. I hope my parents don’t notice, or I will be in big trouble. What time is it??? My parents haven’t even come in my room to see how the rest of my evening was or to make sure that I’m not sleeping too late. Weird!!!! Oh well, maybe they’re just letting me sleep since they know I came in late. Wait a minute…they didn’t even say anything to me about coming in after my curfew. Now that’s really WEIRD!!! (Actually I don’t even remember what time I did come in???? ) Hmmm. Let me go find out from my parents what’s going on??? I hope I’m not in trouble!!! Talk to you later~

Dear Diary,
OMG, something bizarre is going on. I don’t know why my parents are acting like this. When I went downstairs to talk to them, they acted like I wasn’t even there. They pretended they couldn’t see or hear me. They looked very concerned. They kept saying things like “Oh I can’t believe Rachel didn’t come home last night or even call us”, “This is so unlike her”!!! Then the phone rang and within seconds of my mom’s conversation she started hysterically crying. I don’t know what’s going on…because they still acted as if I wasn’t there. I’m going to try again…Talk to you later~

Dear Diary,
I now know what happened...I still can’t believe it myself!!!! I’m DEAD!!!!! How can this BE???? I just don’t understand??? I know I was drinking, but I didn’t drive …so how could this have happened? Heather was the designated driver, she never drank and didn’t last night. WHAT HAPPENED????? OMG… I can’t believe this is happening or should I say “I can’t believe this has HAPPENED!!!” Well I guess this is the last I’ll ever be writing to you diary. I just wish I could remember what happened…And I wish I listened to my parents, and teachers about underage drinking. But I didn’t and NOW all I am is another statistic (“3500 deaths per year are caused by drinkers under the age of 21, 1400 are those are from drunk driving” (www.alcoholnews.org) and a pile of dust!!! Talk to you NEVER~~

Dear Diary,
I can’t believe this is possible but it is I guess. Well I’m not going to think about that now. Now all I’m going to think (ha ha that’s funny) (because I’m dead and all) about the events that brought me to my demise. Here goes… I started drinking alcohol when I was about 12 years old (10% of 12 year olds have used alcohol (US Department of Health, 2007)). Of course my parents had no clue!!! I had older sisters and brothers and would steal whatever I could from their stash. My friends would do the same, when we couldn’t get it from our siblings we would then steal it from our parents’ reserve (for dinner or special occasions). I can’t really pin point what/who was the instigator of this behavior…in a way I felt it was ok to do because my OLDER sisters and brothers drank alcohol…or maybe we (me and my friends) thought we were cool (ACTUALLY WE WERE, or so I believed), or because the even cooler girl invited me over her house and asked if I drank? And did I want a beer? …or because the famous girls such as Paris Hilton, Brittany Spears and Lindsay Lohan glamorize the use of alcohol and drugs... or was it because I thought alcohol would make me more loose (which it did in more ways then One…which I’m not happy to say that)…or make me more funny…likable…or just take the stress away from my everyday life. I just don’t really know what the initiation of my drinking was. All is I know is I started!!! I also started smoking cigarettes too. I didn’t realize that drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes would cause me to drink more alcohol. This is because nicotine found in cigarettes can cause the alcohol blood concentration to decrease therefore in order to get the same “high” as if I weren’t smoking cigarettes I needed to drink more alcohol (http://research.medicine.wustl.edu ). This is referred to as cross-tolerance. (Wow I’m much smarter now, than I was before…I wish I could have remembered or thought about these things when I was still alive!!!) I didn’t even know that cross-tolerance existed and now I can tell you all about it. CRAZY isn’t it. But I did know what tolerance was…because when I first started drinking it took me only two beers to feel the effects but the more I partied the more beers it took me “…to get crumped up…” The last night I ever partied I had a half dozen beers, three jello shots, two shots of Jose Cuervo, tequila and smoked about a pack and a half of cigarettes.( I always thought that beer, wine and hard liquor had the same amount of alcohol in it, but now I realize that they don’t. A 12 oz beer has about 5% alcohol, a 5oz glass of wine has about 12% alcohol, and “hard” liquor has about 40% alcohol in a 1.5oz glass(US Department of Health, 2007.) I now realize why I would be more effected by less wine and hard liquor than beer. But I did know that when I didn’t eat I would get “crumped up” quicker. But I guess I surpassed my tolerance level and had alcohol intoxication because I vomited that night and I can’t remember what happened at the end of the night. Well that’s enough for now diary, I’m tired…Talk to you later~

Dear Diary,
It’s time to get back on the subject of how I cut my own life short by misusing and abusing alcohol (“…Almost 80% of high school students have tried alcohol” (www.kidshealth.org)). It’s still so hard to believe…but it’s true…I’m no longer living…I miss the days when I was captain of the Varsity Soccer Team, or received awards and recognition for outstanding grades and participation in school clubs and community service…but that all ended. It had been a hard year; I wasn’t performing that well in school, and had gotten kicked off the soccer team for smoking cigarettes. I was so depressed I drank even more. My occasional “parting” on the weekend turned into me drinking before, during, and after school. I started drinking on my walk to school, sometimes I wouldn’t even go to school and go hide out at a friend’s house and drink all day. When “school ended” I would go home and take a nap until it was time for dinner. I didn’t get “messed up” everyday…but I rarely attended a full day of school, because if I ever went to school I would cut classes here and there to go get somewhat buzzed and go back to school(really, if I felt like it!). But I guess being “cool” wasn’t so great after all. My parents tried to help me and encourage me but they couldn’t. It wasn’t their fault, it was nobodies but my own…All I cared about was hanging out with friends and drinking. I based my life around alcohol. I was able to buy the alcohol and go to clubs for over a year because I had an older sibling’s ID that I stole. We looked like we were twins but the only difference being the 5 & ½ age gap, her being the elder one. I also went out to bars. At house parties I would drink even more because I would play beer drinking games. These games would include beer pong, turbo cups, quarters, and card games such as circle of death, drunk driver, and asshole. Sometimes I drank so much that I would throw up and continue drinking. I would chug 5 beers in a row sometimes, never realizing that I was partaking in a serious problem, binge drinking. (“Nearly 20% of persons aged 12 to 20 engage in binge drinking and 3 million are alcohol dependent” (Golberg, p 130)). I never thought that this type of behavior was so harmful…even though I wasn’t performing well in school and got kicked off the soccer team…I just thought that my teachers and coach were trying to rule my life and keep me from having fun. That’s enough for now…Talk to you later~

Dear Diary,
I’ve been doing some research on alcohol and discovered more about it … (I knew some facts and statistics but I wanted to learn more) it was an eye opener for me. Alcohol (Ethyl alcohol) is a depressant, which means it slows the function of the central nervous system. Alcohol actually blocks some of the messages trying to get to the brain. This alters a person's perceptions, emotions, movement, vision, and hearing (www.kidshealth.org). Prolonged drinking can cause serious damage to the brain. The effects of alcohol depend on, at what age a person started drinking, how much and how often a person drinks; and how long he or she has been drinking; the person’s age, level of education, gender, genetic background, and family history of alcoholism; whether he or she is at risk as a result of prenatal alcohol exposure; and his or her general health status. If I were still alive my drinking could seriously harmed my body and health. I know I’ve experienced some/most of the short term effects of alcohol (and already told you about it previously). I still can’t believe how harmful alcohol can be to a person’s body. I was in shock when I learned of the long term effects of prolonged drinking. Here’s what I found long-term effects include: cirrhosis and cancer of the liver, loss of appetite, serious vitamin deficiencies, stomach ailments, heart and central nervous system damage, memory loss, an increased risk of impotence and a high risk for overdosing (www.kidshealth.org). Well that’s it for now…I’m tired. Talk to you later~
Dear Diary,
Today I decided to share some other information about alcohol. (I know that’s all I write about, but I can’t let it go until I know everything about it. I just can’t let it go! If I only would have listened and not drank alcohol until I was of legal age. MAYBE I would be alive right now.) I decided to tell you how alcohol is absorbed by the body. Once alcohol (a drink), enters the stomach and small intestine, small blood vessels carry it to the bloodstream. Approximately 20% of alcohol is absorbed through the stomach and most of the remaining 80% is absorbed through the small intestine. Alcohol is metabolized by the liver, where enzymes break down the alcohol. Understanding the rate of metabolism is critical to understanding the effects of alcohol. In general, the liver can process one ounce of liquor (or one standard drink) in one hour. If you consume more than this, your system becomes saturated, and the additional alcohol will accumulate in the blood and body tissues until it can be metabolized. This is why pounding shots or playing drinking games can result in high blood alcohol concentrations that last for several hours (www.brown.edu). Now I understand what was going on in my body while I was drinking. Why do Alcohol companies make drinking alcohol seem ok, and target youngsters? I just don’t know! They have to know the harmful effects that alcohol can cause to a person (and not only those who consume it, but those who don’t as well). If only I were alive to tell my friends and family and anybody I could about the dangers of alcohol misuse and abuse. This is all so crazy! I never knew that alcohol could affect the way I behaved, but it did. I was loud, sometimes even stumbled around, had sex with four different boys(whom none where my boyfriends), and occasionally got into fights with my friends. I am so ashamed of my behavior; I just wish I knew now when I was still alive…how I wish it so much!!!! Talk to you later~
Dear Diary,
Now that I’ve told you all about alcohol and my misusing and abusing of it, I’m gonna share the ways to help a person either with an alcohol problem or just to warn them to not use it. There are groups out there who work around the clock to (a) Stop UNDERAGE drinking and (b)drinking and driving. M.A.D.D. (Mothers against Drunk Driving) is an organization who mission is to eliminate the tragedy of drunk driving and prevent underage drinking (www.madd.org). There are many organizations out there that also want to prevent the harmful effects of alcohol. All throughout the U.S. schools have special programs, such as D.A.R.E., to educate our youth and help them make healthy positive decisions when regarding the use of alcohol (or any drug for that matter). I know my teachers and community did not promote underage drinking, in fact they did just the opposite. They have been talking about this issue with us since we were in fifth grade. They also encouraged us to participate in after school activities, even hosted movie nights on Friday’s in the auditorium and always made all us feel wanted. I guess it just wasn’t enough because I still drank, and had happen to me what they were trying to prevent my whole short life of 17 years. Well Diary I hope you have learned your lesson…which would be listen to your elders when it comes to alcohol and drugs…you might just save a life…a life that could be your own!!! Talk to you later~
Dear Diary,
Well I know it’s been awhile since I last wrote but I just couldn’t bring myself to write…I finally remembered what happened to me the night of my birthday…OMG it was horrible!!! It turns out that as Heather was driving home, some kids from the party who were driving drunk were following us causing her to slam into the guard rail on the passenger side killing me. Let me remind you Heather did not drink that night. I was actually passed out drunk in her front seat; I never even realized what had happened. It was a horrible tragedy. So many lives were affected by a bunch of teenagers breaking the law and drinking underage. We had no care in the world. Now all their lives are filled with hurt, guilt, depression, and pain. Some of them (my old friends) have become alcoholics. It’s so sad that I didn’t listen to the warnings that were given to me. Now all I can do is wish that the teens of the future WILL listen. Bye for a while. Talk to you later~ Works Cited

1. Goldberg, Raymond. Drugs Across the Spectrum. California: The Thomson Corporation, 2006.
2. Rohrbaugh, John W. Ph.D. “Physiological Effects of Alcohol and Nicotine Use.” http://research.medicine.wustl.edu http://research.medicine.wustl.edu/ocfr/research.nsf/c 6bcd223d62419ff8625677f00635840/1470baec1757867f862567 7d00593ae2?OpenDocument&Highlight=0,alcohol.
3. U.S. Department oh Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking: A Guide to Action for Educators. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office o f the Surgeon General, 2007.
4. “Alcohol.” www.kidshealth.org. 1995. Kids Health from the Nemours Foundation. 2006. http://www.kidshealth.org/teen/drug_alcohol/alcohol/ac ohol.html
5. “Alcohol and Your Body.” Brown University: Health Education. May 1st 2006. http://www.brown.edu/Student_Services/Health_Services/ Health_Education/atod/alc_aayb.htm
6. Szalavitz, Maia. “Underage Drinking” April 29, 2005. www.alcoholnews.org. http://www.alcoholnews.org/underage_drink.html
7. “About US”.www.madd.org.…...

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Alcohol

...Alcohol is a compound of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, which can be combined together in many different ways. There are many different kinds of alcohol, the commonest being called ethyl alcohol. Ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, is present in varying amounts in beers and wines, and in distilled liquors such as whiskey, gin, and rum. Alcohol consumption touches many million people around the world. The use of alcohol depends on an individual’s social, cultural, or religious background.  One of the earliest mentions of wine making is from an Egyptian papyrus dated 3,500 BC. However, alcohol drinking is thought to go back almost as far as the human race does. Alcohol has been central to social, religious and personal use all over the world throughout history.  When an individual consumes alcohol there are both short term and long term effects.  The most immediate effect of alcohol consumption is change of mood. Even though alcohol is makes you feel excitement, happiness and relaxation it is in fact a depressant. Alcohol in the bloodstream causes impairment of motor co-ordination and slows down central nervous system activity, which gives the impression of clumsiness and can lead to alcohol related accidents. The more intoxicated a person has slurred speech, blurred vision and the loss of balance. Furthermore it switches off the part of the brain that controls judgment which can result in greater risk taking. However drinking in very large quantities can damage vital bodily......

Words: 621 - Pages: 3