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Drugs + alcohol = a messed-up life

February 26, 2008|By DACRUZ NORBERTO / Pulse Correspondent

It's sad to see more and more people, especially teens, who are affected by drugs and alcohol. Every year, despite warnings from teachers and parents, teenagers suffer unwanted consequences after consuming alcohol or drugs.

Or they see their loved ones' lives affected, even destroyed, by drugs and alcohol. 

Most teenagers I know can say that drugs or alcohol have changed some aspect of their lives in some way.

Drug and alcohol use is serious stuff. Getting drunk or high can lead to life-changing consequences. This doesn't happen all the time, but when something unwanted happens, it can't be undone.

Now, early in a new year, is a good time to rethink what you want your life to be like. Here, anonymously, are a few stories of people in their teens or 20s who had bad experiences while they were under the influence.

See LIFE, C3

"Jane," a South Hagerstown High School student, reports that past experience has affected her willingness to trust two friends. She was involved with "Jake," who was best friends with "Aidan," with whom she was previously involved. Jake and Aidan drank during the Super Bowl and got wasted. Aidan thought it would be funny to text Jane, telling her he still had feelings for her. He did, and Jane replied that it was over between the two of them. She was angry that Aidan would do this behind the back of his best friend. Aidan texted back that she shouldn't worry about Jake finding out. Aidan also texted about some things from their past, knowing it would upset Jane. Then Jane noticed that the texting's sentence structure changed into Jake's style. She realized Jake was involved, pretending to be Aidan. She got angry. Later, Jake repeatedly said he wasn't involved in the text-messaging. Jane didn't believe him and was so upset, she stopped seeing both boys. She still has no trust or respect for them.

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"Isabella," a Smithsburg High School student, reported that alcohol did more than destroy a relationship. It broke up her family.

"My father was an alcoholic and he abused my mom all the time," Isabella reported. "Finally, my mom had enough and my mom left him. In the end, I didn't have a father to watch me grow up."

"Emma," another Smithsburg High student, has also seen family breakups because of alcohol abuse. 

"I've seen my uncle go to jail because of a DUI," she said. "My cousin cried because she saw her father go to jail. Over and over, I have seen women in my family break up with their husbands because the men promised to stop drinking, but they just go back to drinking. I've seen many family members die or have to have operations because of drinking."

A South High teacher who graduated from college a few years ago said that people who are drunk or high sometimes think crazy behavior is normal. The consequences can cause long-term health problems.

"Christina's" husband, "Jerome," got drunk during a college fraternity party. Trying to be a safe and responsible drinker, he gave his keys to his roommate's girlfriend, "Beth," the only sober one, to drive them home. Their friend, "Jerry," who was also drunk, decided to stop them from leaving the party and stood in front of the car. Then Jerry thought it would be amusing to attempt to surf on the car. Beth proceeded to drive off. Jerry fell off the car and was run over. He was not killed, but his small intestine was torn and the injury got infected.

Legally, no one younger than 21 is allowed to consume or even possess alcohol in Maryland. But teens tend to push the limits and sometimes decide to break the law. When that happened to South High student "Miranda" and her friends, they decided to play it safe. 

"One of my friend's parents were out of town," Miranda said. "So she had me and three or four other people over for a barbecue. We got out some rum to add to our Coke and made some margaritas. It was very muted, but, because we had been drinking in any capacity, we simply turned the evening thing into a sleepover." 

State laws allow adults to drink. Should individuals allow drugs and alcohol to ruin their lives? Many people would tell you the rush is the best part of using drugs, that using drugs is an individual's decision. They don't realize the negative effects of their drinking or drug use on other people.  

For 2008, more teenagers should stop to think about how drugs and alcohol affect the people around them. Maybe fewer would be hurt because of drugs and alcohol. 

- Shoval Resnick contributed to this story

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