October 4th, 2016
Dear Future President,
On a warm, August afternoon at the delicate age of ten, the abominable streets of Jersey sandwiched my father’s out-of-body experience; his grievance was his inferno, where the epic cantos do not end. My father stationed around R Market, a small corner store. His hand reached for the car door, his remorseful legs soon leading him to his usual and continuous fate. Upon making his purchase, my father exited with a brown paper bag grasped in his hand. My father settled inside the car, pulling out a cool, frozen Coors. At the time I felt his drinking was dignified: for at such young age, behavioral innocence was abundant. He drove us back home with no signs of apathy. The sun set and the moment passed. As the chronic eye witness to my father’s dependence, I can tell you that anyone that deals with another individual’s alcohol reliance must be patient and understanding. One should seek professional help for an individual’s dependence on the substance. However, help alone should not be the only way to solve this issue; if we are to end the national concern of alcohol for future generations, then we must rid of alcohol in the United States to prevent DUI incidents, peer pressure influence, and unsound health conditions.
Driving under the influence should NEVER be tolerated. Ironically, my father drives like a professional NASCAR racer (in the sense that he is an experienced driver) when it comes to taking the wheel intoxicated, but what if my father had been drunk driving at a much younger age (around sixteen through early twenties)? Would the lack of experience affect his presence today? Drinking can be an abhorrent experience alone, as decision making becomes uncontrollable with often unpleasing results; but combining this action with driving is a multi-tasking death note itself. The numbers do not lie as drunk driving is a dangerous activity that has killed “9,967 people” and injured “approximately 290,000” in 2014 (MADD) emphasizing that with each crash, each death, each injury caused by minor aged individuals, they can not only impact the person in the crash, but family, friends, classmates, coworkers and more (MADD). To make matters worse, driving while impaired proves to be a continuous grievance to the United States, as a lack of “focus on road safety, such as seat-belt usage, and awareness of the dangers of driving while intoxicated” has led to over “130,557 deaths” from the past year of September 2015 accentuating how drunk driving casualties will only increase in number as years pass by (Medical News Today). By getting rid of alcohol in the United States, you relieve the number of deaths and casualties caused by this substance in the first place.
Looking back, alcohol was never an option for me, even if it involved refusing the smallest sip. Unfortunately, from most of today’s popular music videos, commercials, and public figures: actors (we will call them) usually surround themselves with harmful acts of peer pressure; proving vulnerability to youth, as influence may cause "trouble at school or home, hurting themselves or someone else, losing their driver's license, having unprotected sex and getting an STD or an unwanted pregnancy, or embarrassing themselves by acting stupid while drunk" (TeenAlcoholAbuse) illustrating the negative outcomes that may follow if someone is convinced to try alcohol (TeenAlcoholAbuse). The quotation however, has to make you wonder, why would people advertise alcohol in the first place, if all it is doing is leading to the eventual death of innocent individuals? Well, think of it as this way: some people trade in money for acceptance; although the outcome is uncertain, taking risk all leads back to negative peer pressure as the blame (personally, as an anti socialist, acceptance from others does not matter: as long as you are doing something that sets a good example as a role model, acceptance should be the only importance one should seek in thyself). As mentioned earlier, people trade in money, but what do receivers of green value do with the ongoing issue? Nothing, absolutely nothing: they continue advertising as if nothing were really going on, which explains why James D. Sargent, professor of pediatrics at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine argues “alcohol is responsible for deaths of people during adolescence and during young adulthood,” says Sargent. “It seems to me that the industry should be at least as restrictive as the tobacco industry” which, highlights how alcohol advertising is not as restricted as other sources of drugs, despite being a mainstay of related-deaths. Peer pressure only proves to be a huge component of alcohol intake, if you were to rid of alcohol content from advertising, people would not only avoid negative influence, but may find something else worthwhile (perhaps a hobby that is beneficial).
According to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, you have a higher risk of becoming dependent on alcohol if you have more than two drinks at a time on a consistent basis. Alcohol dependence can cause difficulty to individuals physically and mentally as short term effects include “difficulty walking, blurred vision, slurred speech, slowed reaction times and impaired memory” (Alcoholic.org) all of which indicates alcohol’s impact on the body which at first hand, I was able to observe from my father’s stilt-like walk while drunk. Alcohol dependence is also associated with growing tolerance to its effects, which means that drinking profusely leads to similar results: if one stops drinking, one is likely to experience withdrawal symptoms, which could include "nausea, sweating, feeling shaky" or more serious developments, such as "delirium and seizures" (Luxury.Rehabs) all of which, are long term effects that can crucially impact a person’s life and state if alcohol dependence develops (Luxury.Rehabs). By getting rid of alcohol in the United States, you would not have to witness the tragic effects of individuals depending on alcohol, and can find other potential solutions to relieving emotional pain that some of these individuals may experience.
By the end of the trip with my father, we had made it home safely: my soul swooned, and my life gambled upon once again with his drunken state. That night, a time was recalled when him and I had gone over to my cousin's’ house. Drinking runs through my father’s side of the family, my father had been drinking with his sister that night. My cousins and I were disgusted by the sight, so we had decided to empty every glass bottle of alcohol from the kitchen and fill them all up with water, initially to relieve our parent’s drunken state and to prevent any dangers that might have followed. To make things short, my father was not pleased that night; but I felt I had done the right thing, even if it displeased him. I have always tried to lead my father away from his tension and fears, the alcohol to his secret career, but it seems there is no use. So, I ask you, future President; would you want any child like me to experience his own father’s demise at the hands of a drink? I am sure that I speak for many when I address this issue, and I am proud to do so; if we get rid of alcohol in the United States once and for all, not only will we prevent numerous DUI incidents, peer pressure influence, and unsound health conditions; but the future may look bright for the next generations that follow, which should be your main goal as our next national leader.
Alcohol Prevention, 11th grade