My essay is about teenagers taking drugs and alcohol. My main issues concern the increase usage of drugs and alcohol amongst teenagers and the fact that they are both easily obtainable. I will also talk about the effects and reasons for people taking alcohol and drugs.

New research found shows that British teenagers are among the heaviest drinkers and drug users in Europe and woman have overtaken men in binge drinking. Research shows NHS costs could rise by an extra �30bn by 2020 unless the nation becomes healthier.

There are many reasons as to why people are taking more drugs and alcohol. People don’t see the real consequences of drugs and alcohol and more action needs to be taken to raise awareness of the effects. Young people may start taking drugs or alcohol simply because they are bored, want to experiment and to socialise and not feel left out. Others may begin to take these harmful substances because they want to escape from their troubles and relax without feeling stressed or because they are around an environment where alcohol and drugs are regularly being obtained.

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Poor parenting is another factor of usage of alcohol and drugs. Research has shown that many parents do not know where their children go or what they get up to in their spare time. They also do not try to impose any kind of restrictions on their behaviour or just simply give up because of the continuous bad behaviour of their child.

If teenagers regularly take alcohol it can lead to: serious health problems e.g. brain damage. Other effects may be unusual and regrettable behaviour and memory loss as it affects your state of mind. Drugs can do the same thing and have external effects such as committing more crimes to feed your habit and getting caught up in the criminal lifestyle.

Recent changes in the law relating to alcohol are that pubs can now apply for licences to be open twenty-four hours a day. This may encourage younger people to drink more as they may think it is less serious because of the change in law. Fewer police will be able to attend calls of 999. Another change in the law is the downgrading of cannabis from a class B to class C. This may again encourage people to start using as it is seen as a less serious crime and lesser sentencing for possession. Over eighteen’s get away with just a warning for a small quantity and will only get arrested if there is an intention to supply, smoking in a public place or if caught with a large quantity of the drug. People aged fewer than eighteen will still be arrested.

More shops and more pubs are selling alcohol to those under the age of eighteen and do not even ask their age or to show a form of identification. Nowadays children have more access to money and a greater choice of establishments in which to drink and what to drink.

Drugs are also becoming easier to obtain. Ecstasy is not a drug anymore which is only taken for socialising during parties, but is now commonly used even amongst children at the age of just ten. The price of drugs has also become cheaper and therefore larger quantities are taken and more frequently.

Solutions for the high use of illegal drugs and underage drinking in the United Kingdom could potentially be to have more severe punishments for both supplying and taking drugs and underage drinking. For example, the class of cannabis could be moved back up to B, as this will stop some users because of the fear of imprisonment or facing large fines. One positive recent law is that there are now on the spot fines to pubs that sell alcohol to those who are underage. This will force pub owners to act more cautiously when serving customers, as they will be the one’s receiving the punishments.

Another possible solution is to encourage known offenders to take part in rehabilitation programmes. There could be more underage drinking and the usage of drug talks where people can attend anonymously and talk about their problems and try to solve them. Education about taking illegal drugs, underage drinking and other factors that effect your health at a young age is absolutely vital. There should be more education and information campaigns about the real effects and how taking drugs can harm you both physically and psychologically. If more money is spent on the education of drugs and alcohol by the government then we could save money by there being less people who get damage their health due to taking too much drugs and binge drinking.

Recently laws have been enforced to cut down drinking. There are stricter rules of broadcasting and advertising of alcohol and particularly the ones that are aimed at underage drinkers. There are also a few new ideas to raise awareness of the effects of underage drinking and the usage of illegal drugs.

Obtaining illegal drugs and alcohol for those under the age of eighteen is very easy. There could be new laws to stop others from selling alcohol such as supermarkets; before it only used to be pubs, clubs and off-licences. Drug dealers could be targeted and strict sentencing could be faced when caught dealing and this would set examples to other dealers to maybe stop dealing.

Overall, Britain has the highest rate of binge drinking and drugs are very easily available to children everywhere. More could be done to stop people taking drugs in the first place and to not drink large amounts. This mainly depends on how much the law is able to adapt to the new trends of binge drinking and regularly taking drugs. It will take a long time for the law to change and there will need to be more police officers and prison spaces if tougher sentencing is to take place. More organisations need to educate young people about the real effects of underage drinking and drugs. There needs to be long-term solutions for health affecting factors like smoking, underage drinking and taking illegal drugs.


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