“C'mon! Another can't hurt!” called Bob. At only 17 years of age I had been reluctant to have a drink, but I couldn't stop the might of peer pressure. I hesitantly took another can, but before I knew it Bob was on the ground, moaning and bleeding all over the place in the midst of a brawl. We've all been in this situation before where there's been too much alcohol consumed but how often, especially for teenagers, does this apparently harmless fun, end in tragedy? Young people are hospitalised everyday due to excessive drinking and its consequences. This leads to hospitals being choked up, police are constantly breaking up fights and traffic is gridlocked from drink-driving accidents. There just isn't any room for this behaviour in society. Countless teenagers attend parties every week, many of them consuming alcohol. These parties are held to have fun but alcohol consumption, under-age or legal can turn that fun into life-threatening situations, brought about and fuelled by binge drinking. With 4 people under the age of 25 having their lives cut short each week all related in some form to alcohol intoxication; this problem is affecting not only their peers, but their families and the wider community as well. With more than 1 in five teens between the ages of 14 and 19 years of age consuming alcohol on a weekly basis, and around 30% percent of the males drinking seven or more drinks on at least 1 occasion; $15.3 billion is an estimate of the costs for alcohol-related social problems in Australian communities between 2004-05. This is what the rest of Australia has to pay for and ultimately live with. Many members of society are becoming victims of this unacceptable drinking, whether family or close friends, or witnesses of tragedies including deaths from alcohol-fuelled violence and recklessness. One police officer who was called to a drink-driving accident stated that he “.. was traumatised for the rest of my life” and “... could never bring myself to...
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