Underage Drinking is a Problem for TCS Students


Antonia Berdugo, Discoverer Staff Writer



“I don’t remember a party this year that I’ve attended that didn’t include alcoholic drinks.”

                                                                                      -Elisa Cuartas, TCS 12th grader.

This shows how much alcohol dependence has been created, and how much students need alcohol to have a good time, since it is used in almost every gathering students go.

According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, the brain develops the rational part approximately at the age of 25. Meaning that alcohol being a depressant, said by Claudia Patricia Restrepo MD,  “Alcohol can become a neuro depressor, meaning that the patience, starts consuming alcohol, and feels excited, happy, with strength, but once the metabolism starts acting your brain starts to get depressed.”

Studies from Consumo de Alcohol en Menores de 18 años en Colombia, created by the Corporación Nuevos Rumbos  31% of the students surveyed said that they have gotten drunk at least one time, 66% believe it is easy to get alcohol, 54% drink at house parties, 93% have been in parties were they have served alcohol to minors. This study is based in Colombia, and it is mind blowing, yet believable.

Drinking constantly can damage your liver, “Alcohol consumption in an early age can have huge risks, first because alcohol is of hepatic metabolism,  the liver has completed the development after 15 years, only with a good diet” Restrepo said.

In the school, the counselor, Ana Garcia said, “Students start consuming alcohol at a lower age, and that represents a high risk factor, that also increases the frequency in social events were alcohol appears.” This connects very much to every gathering there is alcohol is always present, and mostly consumed by underaged teens. Alcohol has become a main thing to throw a ‘good’ party, “I think alcohol has become an essential part for parties, and people in order to throw a party, they consider that alcohol is one of the main components,” Cuartas said. As a students of The Columbus School, she sees a lot of alcohol consumption in underaged teens, she beening underaged aswell. “I don’t drink, mainly to health issues, but I also consider that it’s not something that I really need to have fun.” Cuartas also stated that she personally did not drink, but she saw a lot of it, in different gatherings.

Statistically speaking, in a study conducted by – Fundación Nuevos Rumbos  y la Fundación Bavaria, in which 9,677 minors participated in, from, Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, Cali, Florencia, Medellín, Tunja, Puerto Boyacá y Sabanalarga and Bogota. It revealed that 70% have tried alcohol, 55.7% consume constantly alcohol, and 46% consume alcohol, in their parents presence, 51% of the minors buy alcohol without any difficulty.

“Forty-seven percent of those who began drinking alcohol before the age of 14 become alcohol dependent at some time in their lives compared to 9% of those who wait until at least age 21.” Dr. Jones said in an interview with the Health University of Health. This first connects to Cuartas’ statement where she said that she saw alcohol in almost every gathering, and also going back to Garcia’s statement, where she said that it became more frequent to see alcohol in every gathering. The statements from a counselor, and a student match perfectly, both state that alcohol is a main component in students life now days. It also connects to what Dr. Jones said about alcohol consumption and dependency being connected to the age that the people started drinking at.

There are two critical times in brain development after birth. One is about age 2 to 3 and the other is at adolescence. During adolescence the brain undergoes major remodeling involving the formation of new connections between nerve cells.” Dr. Jones said. Alcohol affects many of the responsive cells in our brain. Alcohol affects the processes involved in planning and decision making and impulse control, and memorie, since teenagers are still developing this part of the brain, the effects can be greater than on an adult brain.

Alcohol consumption can and if it constant will affect cognitive impairment such as slurred speech, trouble walking, blurry vision, slower reaction times, and difficulty with our memory, said by The Recovery Village. It also says that the main areas were the brain is affected when consuming alcohol are: cerebellum, cerebral cortex, brain tissue and the limbic system. Also said before your brain develops completely at age 25 according to  The University of Rochester Medical Center. So drinking before that age, can damage your brain in ways that may affect you for the rest of your life. “In most parties that I attend I see underaged drinking, because most of the people I hang out with are 17 year old, or younger.” Cuartas said.