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10 Reasons Not to Drink

The Dangers of Teenage Drinking, from Drunk Dialing to Dying

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Just because there's alcohol around you, that doesn't mean you have to drink it - it's pretty easy to say no and drink some soda or something. But don't do it just because I said so. Do it because getting drunk could make your night (and possibly a lot of nights after it) a whole lot worse. Here are 10 reasons why.

1. You Might Forget Your Night

Three young friends toasting drinks, smiling
Maria Teijeiro/Photodisc/Getty Images

Blackouts (or "retrograde amnesia") are more common in teen drinkers than in adults. Teens who binge drink often wake up the next morning without any memory of huge chunks of the night before.

2. Drunk Pics Can Do Major Damage

If you're drunk, you might not realize (or care) that people are taking pictures of you...but those photos could come back to haunt you in a big way. Drunken pics have cost teens their jobs and put them at the center of police investigations. They've gotten teens suspended and kicked off of sports teams and cheerleading squads. And since cameras are everywhere, drinking at a party pretty much guarantees there'll be evidence of it on Facebook the next day.

3. The Drunk Dial

Getting drunk often means waking up the next morning with a couple of calls or texts in your phone log that you totally regret sending.  They can range in cringe-worthiness from begging your ex to take you back, to revealing your feelings to your crush, to apologizing to your mom for being such a disappointment.  Since leaving your cell phone at home probably isn't an option, your best bet to avoid drunk dialing is to not get drunk in the first place.

4. Sober People Think You Look Dumb

Alcohol plays a dirty trick on you: it can make you feel more confident and cool, when to outside observers you're slowly turning into a slurring, stumbling, red-faced mess. And if you pass out from drinking, you've basically transformed from an intelligent human being into a canvas for Sharpies and whatever other gross stuff people want to put on you. Do you want to look like yourself, or do you want to look like one of these sorry people?

5. It's Illegal

Of course you're not legally allowed to drink - the drinking age is 21 in America and 18 in most other countries (check the chart to see the specifics).  And just because lots of teens break the law, that doesn't mean the cops will go easy on you.  If you get busted for drinking underage, you could lose your license (even if you weren't planning on driving), be forced to appear in court and have to pay a fine or worse.

6. Drinking and Driving is Idiotic

Did you know that if you drive after drinking just a couple of beers, you're 11 times more likely to die in a car crash? Kinda makes you wonder why people do it in the first place, since there are so many ways to avoid it: calling a cab, picking a designated driver, staying put till you're sober or even better, not drinking at all.

7. You'll Almost Definitely Do Something You'll Regret

The more you drink, the worse your judgment is, and the more likely you'll do stupid stuff that you'll hate yourself for tomorrow (or even for the rest of your life).   It might be something minor like a drunk dial or a fight with a friend...or something major like unprotected sex, a tattoo, trusting your life to a drunk driver or losing your virginity to a stranger.  Everyone who's been dumb enough to get wasted has a horror story.

8. Every Time You Drink, Your Brain Dies a Little

Drinking just once a week has been shown to cause long-term brain damage in teens. Drink too much now while your brain is still forming and when you get to your adult years, you'll have more trouble completing difficult tasks, processing information and making decisions than the teens around you now who aren't getting drunk.

9. You Could Die (Yes, Really)

Drink too much and you could give yourself acute alcohol poisoning, which is like a drug overdose. If you pass out from alcohol poisoning and don't get medical attention immediately, you might die. Drunk people also die from passing out, puking and then choking on their own vomit. (Lovely, no?) If you're taken to a hospital fast enough you might survive, but are you ready to put your life in the hands of a bunch of drunk people at a house party?

10. You Can Have Fun Without It

Seriously.  What's fun about a party isn't the booze - it's the hanging out with your friends, meeting new people, accidental run-ins with your crush and all that stuff.  If you stay sober, you'll be in complete control of yourself and able to socialize without making a fool of yourself or doing something stupid.  Plus, in the morning, you might actually remember it.

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