When young people talk about drinking, they tend to glamorize alcohol, and many teens don’t think there is anything wrong with it. That’s a huge myth: The truth is that if you are underage, there is plenty wrong with it. Drinking can be extremely dangerous, and if you are thinking about doing it, it is important to understand the difference between myths and reality.
“Alcohol isn’t as bad as real drugs.”
Alcohol is a drug, and using it has the same consequences as other drugs: it increases your risk for many serious diseases, like cancer, it’s addictive, and drinking too much can lead to an overdose, called alcohol poisoning, which can kill you.
“I’ll just drink wine and beer – it’s safer than liquor.”
Alcohol is alcohol, and no matter how you drink it, it can cause problems. A glass of wine or a bottle of beer has the same amount of alcohol as a shot of liquor, and they do the same amount of damage.
“Drinking loosens me up!”
Sure it does, but it also makes you say stupid things and do things you wouldn’t normally do, like have sex or get into fights with your friends. Feelings of regret and embarrassment are just as common as a hangover the day after drinking.
“Drinking will make me cool.”
What’s cool about passing out, stumbling around, fighting with your friends, getting arrested, puking on yourself, smelling bad and gaining weight?
“Everyone else is drinking. It will help me fit in.”
Over 70 percent of teens don’t drink, so if you really want to fit in with your peers, stay sober.
“I’ll sober up quickly before I drive or go home.”
No, you won’t. It takes about two to three hours for a single drink to leave your system, and you can’t speed up the process by “walking it off,” taking a cold shower or drinking coffee.
“I can drink and not have problems.”
The fact is that if you are under 21, drinking is a huge problem: People who start drinking when they are young are more likely to become dependent on or abuse alcohol than those who start drinking after age 21, and teens who drink are at a higher risk of being a victim of crime, getting poor grades, developing diseases and suffering from long-term brain damages that affect memory, movement and coordination. Drinking doesn’t sound so cool now, does it?