"We need to talk to young people about drugs and make sure they understand that drugs are dangerous, addictive substances."

John P. Walters


Alcohol is one of the most common and encountered depressant in teens and young adults. Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream and reaches the brain. There is an impairment of brain function, which deteriorates further the more you drink. Alcohol impairs areas of the brain controlling behavior and emotion. Most vulnerable are the brain cells associated with memory, attention, sleep and coordination. Alcohol is a poison to the body, and it effects far more than just the brain. It also effects the Heart, by dropping blood pressure; the digestive system, by blocking the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals; the lungs, by speeding up the breathing rate; and the liver, by creating by-products such as acetaldehyde ( which can be more toxic than the alcohol its self) due to the breaking down of the alcohol.

What to know:

Each year, approximately 5,000 young people under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking; this includes about 1,900 deaths from motor vehicle crashes, 1,600 as a result of homicides, 300 from suicide, as well as hundreds from other injuries such as falls, burns, and drowning (1–5 hundred) By age 18, more than 70 percent of teens have had at least one drink. Nine out of ten (90%) American teens report that drinking is not worth the consequences it can cause.

Short-term effects

In low doses, alcohol produces:
A relaxing effect, reduced tension, lowered inhibitions, poor concentration, slow reflexes, slow reaction time, reduced coordination, slower brain activity, sensations and perceptions that are less clear
In medium doses, alcohol produces:
Slurred speech, Sleepiness, Altered emotions, Poor vision, Sleepiness and disruption of sleeping patterns, increased urine production, More blood flow to skin surface, Lower core body temperature
In high doses, alcohol produces:
Vomiting, Uncontrolled urination, Uncontrolled defecation, Breathing difficulties, Passing out, Alcohol poisoning, Coma, Possible death.

Long term effects

Disrupts normal brain development; liver damage and cirrhosis of the liver; brain cells die, decreasing brain mass; stomach and intestinal ulcers and destroyed organs; blood pressure increases, causing heart disease, heart attack, or stroke; male sperm production decreases; lower levels of iron and vitamin B, causing anemia; alcoholism; death; and fetal alcohol syndrome in unborn children.