BIOLOGICAL INFLUENCES ON UNDERAGE DRINKING 5
Underagedrinking is illegal and risky to the individuals as well as thesociety. Statistics shows that almost 50% of adolescent have consumedalcohol by the time they reach eighth grade. Risks associated withunderage drinking include high chances of alcohol abuse or dependencelater in their life. This paper will analyze biological influences onunderage drinking.
Researchshows that biological factors have a major influence on drinking andalcoholism in adolescent. The tendency of close relatives ofalcoholic becoming alcoholics is much higher compared tononrelatives. Biological factors can be used to explain why someindividuals such as Asians highly react negatively to alcohol, andthus this is likely to lower their risks of becoming alcoholism(Jarvinen & Ostergaard, 2008). Conversely, some ethnic groupssuch as Native Americans have a lower tolerance for alcohol comparedto other, and this increases their risk for alcoholism. The brain hasa huge influence on underage drinking and addiction in terms ofindividual tolerance and physical dependence. When young peoplerepeatedly use alcohol, their body becomes less sensitive to thepresence of the substance, thus the need to increase the amount ofdosage they take in order to increase their desire effects (Paschallet al., 2014). On the other hand, when usage of alcohol stops, thebody may adjust differently resulting in withdrawal symptoms. This iswhat is referred to as physical dependence. These changes thattrigger tolerance and physical dependence provides an explanationinto why some individuals who starts using alcohol find it hard tostop (Copeland et al., 1996).
Researchhas collected evidence from family histories studies, animals andindividual from different racial groups to demonstrate that geneticfactors are a major influence of alcohol use in adolescent. Thisissue is controversial and the specific genes that influence drinkingare yet to be identified. Researchers believe that genetic factorsappear to contribute to neurological dysfunctions and how individualrespond and metabolize alcohol (Spear, 2011). Therefore, genesinfluence how individuals respond to alcohol with young people beingable to consume larger amounts because of their sensitivity andunusual tolerance to drinking effects. For instances overwhelmingevidence shows that individuals who become alcoholics begins withmoderate drinking. In conclusion, although biological influences onunderage drinking are powerful, definitely young people are capableof other choosing other options over addiction (Gofen, 1990).
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