A Life Wrecked?

Is this your story?

Kamy, eighteen, woke and wondered where she was and what had knocked her from sleep. A persistent buzzing from her pocket made her pull out an I-Phone. She stared at the screen, until the word "Mom" penetrated the hazy fuzz making it hard to think.

"OMG! What does she want?" Kamy answered the call. "What?"
"Where are you?" Mom screamed. "It's three in the morning. You were supposed to be home at eleven."

"Whatever." Kamy shook her head, it had just started spinning in these really weird circles.

When that didn't work, she lay back and stared at the dark sky, but things only got worse.
"Where are you?" Mom demanded.

"Party," Kamy slurred. "Hardy's Field."

"You're drunk!" Mom screeched.
A horrendous throbbing took over the spinning in Kamy's head. She rolled her eyes.

Stupid. I should have told her I was at Mysty Valley.
"I'm coming to get you," Mom said. "Meet me at the highway."

"No!" Kamy bolted upright and regretted it. "I'll get one of the guys to bring me home."

"I'll be there in five minutes."

Kamy shut off the phone. She tried to stand, but her legs didn't feel like they belonged to her body. She laid back and shut her eyes.

Just five minutes," she promised herself. I'll just rest for five minutes, and then I'll get everyone out of here.
The next thing she knew, blue lights flashed all over the place. A huge cop yanked her to her feet and fastened handcuffs around Kamy's wrists. She jerked and cried.

"What's going on?" Bill, her guy, yelled. "We didn't do anything wrong. All we had was a little beer."

"That's the problem," another cop said. "None of you are old enough to drink."
Scenes like this play out daily across the world. Maybe in a field, or at a house party, or even in a club. Teens are turning to alcohol for many different reasons. And their lives can turn from the fast track to success to loser just as fast. Underage drinking is an epidemic. It's that simple. Facts from the CDC don't lie, and those facts are enough to scare most parents.

In 2003, a mere ten years ago, eighty percent of high school seniors admitted to trying alcohol. The numbers are somewhat improved for 2012, seventy-two percent of high school seniors admit they've tried alcohol, but then we look at the numbers for nineteen and twenty year olds for the same time period. Seventy percent of those old enough to have graduated high school, but not old enough to drink legally, admit they get drunk on a regular basis.
The consequences of this problem are many and varied.

1.      Get drunk underage, but over eighteen, and you will have a criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life. With the tough competitions for scholarships to college, it could mean the difference between having your higher education paid for or going to work at a dead end job and forgetting your dreams.
2.      A juvenile record can be sealed, but there are some jobs where that seal means nothing. So, your partying might follow you into a career you've hungered after all your life.

3.      The younger you are when you start drinking, the harder it is to quit. Start drinking before fifteen and chances are really good you'll be a lifelong alcoholic. Before you shrug this off, think of looking ten to fifteen years older than you are, blacking out, and constantly facing a judge for your habit.

4.      A woman who drinks while pregnant, especially to excess, stands a very good chance of giving birth to a baby suffering from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. This particular syndrome causes poor growth in the womb and afterward, decreased muscle tone and poor coordination, thinking, speech, movement, and social skills will be delayed or have problems, and heart defects. The baby will also have narrow, small eyes with large upper eyelids, a small head, small upper jaw, a host of other problems.

5.      Drink and drive, especially underage, and you'll find yourself with a whole lot of legal problems. First, you will lose your driving privileges. That means public transportation in urban areas, and walking or begging others for a ride in rural areas. You'll have a criminal record. Insurance rates will skyrocket.

6.      Get into a wreck while driving and things just got a lot worse, especially if someone is hurt or dies.

Not enough yet to quit drinking before you're old enough? Ask  yourself these questions –
Is alcohol really what I want to be addicted to the rest of my life?

When everyone gives me a hard time for not drinking, am I really willing to let them bully me into getting into trouble?

Are my friends really acting like adults, or are they just being stupid?

Peer pressure can work two ways. You can give in, take the easy way out, and face a lifetime of medical problems, legal issues, and ridicule as you grow older. Or you can walk away and ignore the drunken laughter. Find a party where teens are having fun without booze, throw a party like that yourself, don't fall into the trap of "everyone else is doing it." Be the first in your group to stand up for yourself.


KC Sprayberry is the author of the teen novel, Softly Say Goodbye. In this book, an eighteen-year-old teen, Erin Sellers, takes on underage drinking in her high school. Twitter and YouTube provide her a way to get the message out, but nothing can help when three guys are victims of underage drinking accidents – one when he was drunk and the other two being run off the road by a teen drunk.

She lives in Northwest Georgia with her husband and youngest son, a seventeen-year-old. KC's stories have appeared in many magazines for teens, four anthologies (Passionate Hearts Anthology (2010), Mystery Times Ten (2011), The Best of Frontier Tales, Vol. I (2012), Mystery Times Nine (2012).

You can find me on the web at:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Looking to pick up your own copy of Softly Say Goodbye? Try these links:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Comments

Jan Moran said…
Nice blog! I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe. Great to connect!
- Jan Moran at JanMoran dot com