Engaging young people in advocacy, education & prevention
Creating social change around alcohol, drugs, and more

Youth and Alcohol

July 14, 2010 11:30 am Published by Leave your thoughts

By Denise G.

Denise received an Honorable Mention for this essay in the 2010 “Say It Straight Up” writing contest, age 12-17 division. Denise is a student in Camarillo.

In today’s society there are a lot of teens drinking alcohol. I am not a hypocrite because I’m a seventeen-year-old female who has abused the use of alcohol. Drinking alcohol was one of my favorite things to do. I’d get up and out of my house by eight in the morning, walk to a liquor store and “fish” someone to buy me alcohol, that’s when you stand outside the store and ask someone to buy you alcohol. I drank a lot. I drank one or more 9.9% alcohol tall cans.

When the weekend came I drank so much, to the point that I wouldn’t remember how I got home. I mean I knew I walked because I always walked. I just didn’t remember how I got past the crosswalk, or even into my house. I would wake up the next day in my house somewhere sometimes with a headache. I knew I had to stop drinking, but I knew it wouldn’t be easy.

I had problems at home with my family, including my boyfriend. My life was difficult even though others thought I had it made. When there was a conflict at home I would walk around the city. Somehow I ended up outside of a liquor store and tried getting people to buy me beer. Sometimes they’d say no so I would sit there for hours until someone finally said yes. People sometimes said yes right away so it would just take minutes or even seconds to get it.

When I would finish drinking a beer my body would relax and my life was peaceful. I finally paid attention to myself. Every time I got mad, sad, or had any negative feelings I would drink until I could forget about my problems. My boyfriend realized I had an alcohol problem. He said that he loved me to death and didn’t want to lose me to an alcohol addiction. I got mad, yelled at him and told him that it wasn’t true, that he was stupid. I slapped him, pushed him and stalked out of the room … and immediately picked up a beer. That’s when I realized I was an alcoholic. It took me a while to actually get it through my head. I couldn’t believe I had turned into an alcoholic.

I am still seventeen years old and it’s been a month since I had an alcoholic beverage. I know it doesn’t seem long, but to me it seems like months. It’s been three and a half years since my boyfriend and I got together. He noticed my positive change in life when I sobered up and he appreciates me listening to him. I continue to have problems at home, but I am learning to deal with stress in a more productive way. I just sit there, not saying a word and listen until my parents get over their loudness.

Before I would walk in to parties with a Bud Ice in my hand. Now I am walking in to parties with a non-alcoholic Arizona tea in my hand. As funny as people think I look with an Arizona instead of a beer they don’t tell me anything because I know how to enjoy myself. The best part is that my friends don’t use peer pressure on me, nor offer me a drink.

I know how to have a fun time being sober — I’m actually getting use to my new sober life. So if I can do it anyone can, you just have to have faith in yourself. Listen to others because they can be right sometimes. Never let things get to you because in the end you will realize it’s not worth it. Always believe in yourself.