Childrens Images of Alcohol

Drinking has always been one of the many vices known that man has learned to embrace. Some say that drinking helps them relax and provide them the unique connection they have with friends, while others point out how it assists clear their thoughts. To a certain extent, these may be true, but behind its known relaxing façade, drinking has their own downside (alcoholism) that can change a person’s life.

First things first, it is a good start to know that alcoholism is a substance-abuse disorder wherein a person takes in too much of the substance which can lead to substance dependence. Furthermore, to make the point clear, acquiring the pleasure of drinking doesn’t happen instantly, let alone alcoholism. According to Research professor of Psychology Dr. Goldman, there is “Information stored in memory that prepares people for the circumstances they encounter.” (Children’s images of alcohol, This memory is known as expectancies which functions automatically and saves thoughts and experiences directly into our subconscious minds. Dr. Goldman further explained that according to studies, “Children begin to acquire alcohol expectancies at a very young age” which yield negative reactions to the substance at first until such time that he strongly emphasized the position that, “by fifth and sixth grade, these expectancies turn positive, focusing on the arousing and positive effects of alcohol use.” The use of alcohol generally from fifth to sixth grade not only stops there, it naturally serves as a threshold to even bigger problem areas. NIAA studied that by the time eighth grade steps in, so does the habit of “binge” drinking increase, which eventually leads to alcoholism upon reaching adulthood. (2003)

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Alcohol expectancies turn positive through the hundreds of researches that explain the different factors leading to a young child’s exposure to drinking. The top three are: familial exposure, self risk factors and the ever popular peer pressure. Genetics on the other hand also “play[s] a role in the development of alcoholism, [but that] this is a disease in which other factors more strongly influence its occurrence.” (Alcohol and Teens. Family exposure is one of these influences. Under-supervised children, family arguments and parental history of drinking all affect the child’s alcohol preferences. There is also the individual factor in which the person may have low coping management and deal with stress and other unfavorable events by drinking. Meanwhile peer pressure also appears to be in every survey poll made available publicly. The lines, “If they can do it, so can I” and “Its cool to drink” are not new, drinking apparently, is now part of a common misconception and accepted social standard within teenagers.

The fact that starting to drink at a young age builds high chances of developing alcoholism, also brings along with it dangerous effects. Underage drinking interferes with the normal development of not only the liver and kidneys, but also the function of the brain due to the fact that intoxication with the substance can cause memory lapses especially upon withdrawal and decrease teen’s ability to pay attention. Suicide, an increase in sexual activities and sexual misconducts, car crashes, other substance abuse (e.g. marijuana, cocaine) and a whole lot more disadvantages tag along with alcoholism. (Alcohol and Teens.

The mind of a young person, especially in their formative years, is capable of learning a number of great things, so much more when utilized until adulthood. It is the threshold of development and creativity. Each one of us has power over our actions as it is done consciously and willingly. Drinking is never the solution to any problem. No one person holds the life of another, what’s important is how the pressure, the arguments, and influences are handled.

Works Cited

Goldman, Mark S. “Children’s Images of Alcohol.” n.d. Web. 19 August 2011.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. “Underage Drinking: A Major Public Health Challenge.” no. 59. NIAAA. April 2003. Web. 19 August 2011.

Edwards, Roxanne Dryden, Stoppler, Melissa Conrad. “Alcohol and Teens.” Medicinenet. n.d. Web. 19 August 2011.

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