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A warning for teens: Binge drinking is dangerous and can be deadly

As a parent of a teenager who went through an alcohol ordeal, I’d like to share some information with other parents and most importantly – other teenagers.

My 16-year -old son went on a drinking binge a short while back and almost lost his life. If it wasn’t for his awesome and most importantly, mature friends, he might not be alive today. Had his friends left him to “sleep it off,” there is a good chance he would have never woken up.

As parents we educated our two teenagers on the use of alcohol and drugs to the best of our ability. We treat our teens like young adults and expect them to react that way in return. But let’s face it, some teens are just not ready for real life when it comes to some issues, i.e. drinking.

With graduation just around the corner, my goal is to raise awareness for those teens who think they know it all and want to fit in, whether it be drinking or drugs.

So please, if you have a teenager, suggest to them they read this.

Here is my son’s story of how he almost lost his life.

Parent of a Surrey teenager

First off I would like to apologize to my parents for what happened and would like to thank my friends who got me home safely.

A little while ago we were going to a party and were drinking and I had too much to drink and I ended up in the hospital. I do not remember passing out and all I can remember is waking up in the hospital.

My mom told me they had to strap me to the bed because I was fidgeting around and they thought that I might have been slipped drugs, but thankfully I had not.

The legal blood alcohol level limit is 0.08 per cent and due to my stupidity and binge drinking mine was at 0.60 per cent.

If you know a little about blood alcohol levels, you would say that is impossible because at 0.40 per cent, stats show that more than half of people die. Those who are lucky either fall unconscious or go into a coma.

Another site I researched said that at above 0.50 per cent, most would be considered dead. I consider myself extremely lucky because at 0.60 per cent there should be no way that I should be alive. I also recently learned after this incident that part of my dad’s side of the family is allergic to alcohol, which puts me at even more jeopardy.

I was researching on the Internet about drinking and I came across a calculator that will calculate your blood alcohol level. Now, for the vodka we were drinking which was 40 per cent, it said I had to have consumed nearly 28 ounces to get up to a 0.60 alcohol level within an hour.

As teenagers, our mind-set about drinking is that it gives us something to do and it is somewhat fun and we think we’re indestructible and can’t be harmed. But none of us really consider the fact that you can get into a lot of trouble with it or even die. Many kids our age just go out and drink as much as they can to see what it’s like, but as I’ve learned this is definitely not smart and binge drinking can lead to much worse things.

Not only did this affect my own life, but the two ambulance crews who came out to help me could have been at a more serious accident. The firefighters could have possibly missed a call for a serious car accident or large fire and this is all due to my stupidity. So in a broad perspective not only do these choices affect yourself, but they could potentially prevent innocent people in other accidents from getting help.

For parents who let their children have a party at their house and allow for under-age drinking, this is completely illegal. If you are to provide one drink you are still liable for all drinks consumed after. At these parties, alcohol is the number-one cause of accidents and the parents are held responsible for anything that happens due to allowing minors to drink in their home. Depending on the severity of the accidents, the hosts can be charged with reckless endangerment, criminally negligent homicide and unlawfully dealing with a minor.

In the last 10 years, in the United States alone, more than 250,000 people have died due to alcohol-related accidents. A recent study shows that 500 people die every week and 71 people die every day from alcohol-related car accidents.

As my parents said, lack of maturity is probably the biggest reason why minors aren’t allowed to drink, and now I realize and understand that to the full extent. No matter how mature you feel or think you are, you can’t compare yourself to somebody such as your parents who have already gone through high school and years of the real world. Only then will you know what maturity is and why it’s a leading reason for why minors shouldn’t be allowed to drink. I believe this makes sense seeing how teenagers abuse alcohol and get into trouble with it.

As you all know, alcohol has many side effects. The short term effects typically happen while drinking and they include, nausea, vomiting, headaches and reduced inhibition. These all can be somewhat dangerous but the long-term effects are what you should be worried about. Drinking excessively every day or a few times each week can lead to heart disease and throat, liver and other cancers. Chronic use of alcohol affects the brain and reduces motor control and can lead to clinical depression.

At our age, we should not be doing this because if you start at an early age it can or will come back to you and you may one day regret your decision to drink, whether it costs you a job in the future or you develop a disease or other long-term problem with alcohol.

Now, is alcohol always bad to drink? Obviously at the rate at which I did, yes, and the way many teens do it is. But for mature adults to drink once in a while in a controlled manner is not a big deal. Studies have proven that drinking in moderation can actually reduce the likelihood of developing coronary heart disease.

So, I would once again like to thank my friends for all their help and I hope that I am the first and last person to go through this because I can only imagine how freaked out they would have been and I hope this helped you to understand how big of a deal drinking is.

I’m happy to be alive.

A Surrey 16-year-old

source: Surrey Leader

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