Alcohol. One word that is so damaging. Many kids start to drink "socially" with friends when they're young, too young to drink that is. Sometimes you feel like you need to fit in, and sometimes you just want to escape it all. And sometimes, it's something more serious. Sometimes, it's a feeling that you can't escape, a yearning for the taste, the sensation, the feeling of absolutely nothingness that comes with drinking far too much. These kinds of behavior can turn into a life threatening disease.
Alcoholism is a scary thought, especially for teens or younger children. When you're young you think things like that could never happen to you, that you could never be that stupid, but it can happen to anyone, at any point in their lives. It is a disease, and it should be treated as such. The Journal of the American Medical Association defines alcoholism as "a primary, chronic disease characterized by impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug alcohol, use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking."
Currently 14 million Americans, 1 in every 13 adults abuse alcohol. That is a scary fact, but it is the truth. Alcoholism affects more people each year than any other disease. And it isn't just in the obvious ways. Not only does alcoholism affect the person who is doing the drinking and destroying their body, but it affects the people around them. Alcoholism can turn people into monsters. It can cause spousal abuse, and even child abuse. Some heavy drinkers are called "angry drinkers" because of the abusive behavior that they show while under the influence.
Sometimes this can be even more harmful to the people around the alcoholic, than to the alcoholic themselves. But there are ways of beating this disease. The first step to fighting alcoholism is to realize that you have a problem and seek help. There are thousands of detox clinics in this country; there is no excuse to not get help. Not to mention the various group therapies, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, that are free and easily accessed.
If you, hopefully not because I'm sure all of you who are reading this are way too young to be dealing with these problems, or anyone you know is dealing with this disease, please find them help. You could be their last hope. And if you are being abused in any way by these people, tell someone. If you can't help them, there has got to be someone or something out there that can. No one wants to drink their life away.
Now, you may ask yourself, how can I prevent this from happening to myself? The point that cannot be stressed enough is, do not drink under age. Those who do are far more likely to develop a problem later on in life than those who do not. Don't let the peer pressure get to you, and know that there are better ways to deal with your problems than drinking yourself into oblivion.
Thanks for taking time out to change the world,