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Drinking and smoking in teens needs to be addressed

Codi Thompson, BHS Journalism

Drinking and smoking in high school students is not very unknown within the United States. While most students are under the legal age to drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes, they still do.

According to toosmarttostart.gov 10% of twelve year olds had tried alcohol and by age eighteen 70% of students had at least one alcoholic drink. Also, according to niaa.nih.gov in the year of 2015 7.7 million people between the ages of 12-20 had drank alchol past “a few sips” in the past month.

According to a poll conducted by teenrehabcenter.org 68% of seniors alone had tried alchol and 21% had binge drank at some point in the past year. The question is: Why? And how can it be prevented?

While some people think the reason teens drink or smoke is because of the media around them or the pressure from their peers, but the main reason teens turn to alcohol is stress. As stated by drugfree.org, “When teens are unhappy and can’t find a healthy outlet for their or a trusted confident, they may turn to chemicals for solace.”

When teens are not happy or extremely stressed and they do not have a safe way to get rid of the stress, they will turn to alcohol and smoking to take away the stress, even if it is temporary.

One possible solution to the issue of underage drinking and smoking would be to educate teens. Many teachers and other adults ignore the fact that teens do drink or smoke. Instead of ignoring it, adults could speak up about it and talk to the students. The fact that it is an issue is not kept secret and adults should quit pretending it is not happening and start talking about it.

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