When Alcohol Becomes a Problem

Often times in high school, people who like to drink excessively every weekend are called “alcoholics.” However, alcoholism is really when the body becomes dependent on alcohol— true alcoholics drink several times per day.

Alcoholism is a much more serious problem than drinking for fun, according to Alcoholics Anonymous.

But when it comes to social drinking, the type that goes on at parties, is it really alcoholism? The answer is no. For most high school students, drinking is not as serious of a problem is alcoholism.

“I think [high school students drink] because they want to fit in, and some do because that’s what they think is cool and fun,” freshman Scott Casas said.

However, it is quite possible for drinking to go beyond the partying level for high school students, and this is when alcohol becomes a problem.

“I knew an alcoholic once … and I watched her life fall apart,” junior Maddie Freeman said. “I could see she was in pain and she was ashamed, and yet she didn’t realized what it was doing to the world around her.”

According to health teacher Vickie Christensen, alcohol inhibits the development of the frontal lobe, which is in charge of judgement and reasoning. Because of this, judgement and reasoning are usually skewed during alcohol consumption and often disables one’s ability to make decisions.

“Nobody thinks [drinking] is the only way to have fun, because that’s the only way to be stupid,” Maddie said.

However, statistics gathered by The Talon show that many teens drink because it is simply fun to be drunk. While being an alcoholic is certainly not considered fun, one of the main concerns for high school students is that drinking can because the only way for them to have fun. And while this is not technically the definition of “alcoholism,” it is clearly a problem.

“If [people are] so bored that they drink alcohol just for the heck of it, that can get addicted to it in the end,” junior Emily Hoff said.

When drink becomes the only way to have fun, it starts to become a more serious problem. Dependency on alcohol to have a good time is clearly an issue, because it could lead to a complete dependency on it.

“Friendships definitely get lost, and that’s basically your life,” junior Courtney Sandlin said. “If you drink so much, people just don’t want to drink with you because you’re just there to drink and not socialize.”

While drinking at parties cannot be considered alcoholism, it is a problem, and can be the first step toward this serious disease if not controlled.