A country without a focused young generation has got a dark future. The youth plays an important role in the development of a society. The indicators of a possible prosperous state are measured, using the present young population. They are quite often associated with creativity, innovation, high work rates and a burning desire to achieve big personal and career targets. They mature into adulthood, to become role models to the young. Besides that, they also engage in many, social functions like partying with friends. It’s during such functions that, most of them would want to practice, what they see on screen and friends. In most of this functions Alcohol among other beverages are served. The rate at which young people are being influenced into alcoholism is my cause of concern. All the beverages that contain ethyl group of the hydrocarbons are alcoholic. Brands like wine, beer and liquor are all in this category. Once taken alcohol depresses the central nervous system, hence a drunken person is occasioned by slurred speech, forgotten social controls and quite often becomes emotional. (Gerhard GmelMappingand Harold, 2001:75) A drunkard displays these effects because alcohol affects parts of the brain that deals with judgment. Young people are not advised to take alcohol because crucial organs of their body are still undergoing growth which can be inhibited by alcoholic consumption. Alcohol also slows the general functioning of the brain, and depending on the quantity consumed, the result is poor speech, poor response, and impaired vision and memory lapses. If this beverage is taken for long, these effects aggravates to severe levels.
Social effects of drinking alcohol at a young age include: Addiction, premature aging, dehydration of the skin, indecent dressing and staining of the teeth. Addiction will result because drinking at a young age is normally occurs at parties .The youth will drink at parties because of pressure from their friends. Given that they fancy partying, they slowly get used to alcohol, which coverts their bodies into depending alcohol dependants. The effects of addiction are always very severe. It is a condition which is difficult to cure. Effects of addition later in life include health complications e.g. liver cirrhosis, and high blood pressure, this is because consumption of alcohol is associated with increased consumption of calories, which stock in blood arteries narrowing them causing high blood pressure.(ibid:79-85)
Drug abuse is simply poor drinking habits. Given that underage drinking is prohibited in many countries, the youth often drink alcohol in informal places. These places house illicit drugs, and therefore if the youth visit these places, it is likely that they will start involving themselves in misusing these drugs, because as they get used to it, the body urges for more. The results of drug abuse amongst the youth include, miserable deaths arising from road accidents and accidents. Besides they are likely, to engage in criminal activities because of a ruined future, and the need to get money to buy alcohol and other drugs. Young drunkards lack self control hence they can easily be introduced to, heavy drugs like heroin. The long term effect of these heavy drugs is depression of gaseous exchange, flowing of blood, impotence, dizziness, constipation, and withdrawal symptoms. Overdoses can lead loss of life. Impotence may lead to family breakups, because the husband is no longer, able to perform his conjugal rights.
Research indicates that alcoholic beverages like Red wine cause the staining of teeth. Teeth staining may cause one to have low self esteem because of getting taunted by other people close to him/her. One may decide to go to the dentist to get treatment, which means spending extra finances that could have been used in other life upgrading projects.
Studies have shown that drinkers have accelerated aging, in which the symptoms of aging appear earlier than expected. It also causes exaggerated aging, in which the symptoms of the aging appear at the right time, but in a more exaggerated manner. This is because alcohol accelerates the HPA axis, causing glucocorticoid release thus increasing levels of stress hormones in the body. (Gerald Joseph, Stephen A, 2007:102-200) Severe exposure to these hormones results in an acceleration of the aging process. Alcohol in the long run also causes slurred speech. Physical appearance has of late become a crucial component in job hunting. Aged appearance wills most likely cost you, your dream job for example in the modeling agencies. Marketing agencies, will not want to hire an individual with slurred speech to market their products.
Drinking alcohol requires that one has regular income. Most young people do not have jobs that would earn them the needed money and therefore have to resort to other means. These include stealing from their parents/guardians and friends. In extreme cases, it may be stealing from stores and even banks. Stealing will most likely land the culprits in jail, later if not sooner, in life. This is because in their teen age, they will get punished by probations and suspensions from school. But for addicts this will only harden them, to join gangs that will promise them steady supply of money, they need for alcohol, eventually they land in prison. Stealing from parents affects the family economic level by depleting it. This may make the family lead a low lifestyle and therefore miss many investment opportunities that may be available. This catches up with the teenage drinkers later in life, when the parents pass on, and they don’t have any material wealth to leave for their children. This makes the children (the teenage drinkers), to also lead a low lifestyle. (ibid: 233), ultimately this is, especially in 3rd world countries, is the vicious cycle of poverty.
At a young age, especially at adolescent stage critical development occur in the human body. For instance neurodevelopment is at its final stages of development. Gorge drinking, common among the youth, interferes with this crucial stage of development. Excessive alcohol intake inhibits new brain cell development. This leads to memory loss and difficulties in learning. Those who excessively consume alcohol risk suffering long term effects like organ damage. (Glen R. Hanson and Peter, 2006:12-115)The most susceptible organs are those involved in digestion and absorption, like the stomach, liver and the pancreas. Long-term consumption also affects the brain. Excessive consumption of alcohol in the long run leads to the degeneration of the liver. The effects of the degenerated liver include nausea, vomiting, fever and lack of appetite. The most severe condition of liver degeneration is liver cirrhosis which is not curable.
The young people are likely to suffer from gastritis. It occurs when the mucus membranes on the stomach wall are tempered with by alcohol. It can cause bleeding of the stomach, whereas the infection of the pancreas results to lower absorption of nutrients hence weight reduction.(ibid:45)
Although the effects of alcohol consumption are not radical, research indicates that long term consumption is closely linked to cancer. Young drunkards are likely to suffer from prostate cancer, breast cancer and cancer of the throat. Most of these diseases affect people in their old age but for the drunkards they increase their chances of contracting these diseases.
The youth are the resources of the society; therefore they are not supposed to ruin their future by engaging in alcoholism at a young age. For any development to take place, a state needs to have critical and creative thinkers to provide leadership. Alcoholism kills these crucial characteristics by impeding the growth of the brain at the adolescence stage. Therefore the youths beware!
Gerhard GmelMappingand Harold Klingemann, the social consequences of alcohol consumption springer. (2001)
Gerald Joseph, Stephen A, Drug use and abuse. Connors Publisher; Cengage (2007)
Glen R. Hanson and Peter Drugs and society, Publisher Jones (2006)