Exposing Our Youth To A Life Threatening Addiction

1441 words - 6 pages

Introduction

The advertising of alcohol products is an ongoing controversy concerned with the impact that it has on young people. Through subliminal advertisements, irrational desires are cleverly instilled in the minds of millions by callous alcohol companies. It is unfortunate that the targeted minds are mostly those of our youth. The teen market in the United States is lucrative and important to marketers due to the fact that brand loyalties begin during adolescence and continue to last through adulthood (Fox). These selfish companies are clearly unconcerned about the well-being of our society, and are more concerned about their profits than their clients' health. This document will inform readers about general problems associated with alcohol products, it will identify the effects of alcohol, and, finally, it will summarize the negative effects of advertising alcohol on the children of our society.

Problems with Alcohol

The consumption of alcohol poses to be a problem when considering long-term effects and, more significantly, it becomes a problem in our society when too much is consumed (causing drunkenness) and is associated with driving.

Long-term alcohol consumption is associated with liver disease, some cancers, and effects on the nervous system. One of the most common diseases associated with alcohol abuse is cirrhosis of the liver, which is among the top 10 causes of death in the United States. Other cancers linked to heavy alcohol consumption include cancers of the esophagus, stomach, mouth, tongue, and liver. In the nervous system, alcohol results in shrinkage in brain size and weight (Donatelle 339-340).

In response to drinking and driving, it is apparent that alcohol abuse is responsible for numerous traffic accidents and related fatalities. For example, approximately 38% of all traffic fatalities are alcohol-related (Donatelle 341). In addition, teenagers are involved in the most automobile crashes and fatalities with drinking and driving being a primary cause. Even more significant, alcohol use is involved in half of those automobile accidents (Fox).

Effects of Alcohol Advertising on Children

Alcoholism has always been a detriment to our society, especially in the hands of our youth. Many factors cause children to participate in the consumption of alcohol. Some factors include alcoholic parents, peer pressure, and the media. One of the most influential factors, however, is the media, which is generally unregulated and uncensored. Whether intentional or not, there has always been an existence of alcohol in many forms of the media, much of which children are exposed to.

The presence of alcoholic beverages in different forms of mass media can heavily influence young teens and adolescents to drink. For example, nearly one-third of high school students and nearly 45 percent of college students have engaged in binge drinking (drinking more than five drinks in one setting), and four million...

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