Last Updated: November 3, 2023
SUPE: Hey guys! This is SUPE, the gentle dragon. You probably have seen parents and friends drinking alcohol. Do you know where it comes from? That some people can not drink alcohol? You’ll learn everything about it. I’ll leave you with Dave and Cathy.
Dave: Hi Cathy, what do you know about alcohol?
Cathy: Nothing much. I know that my uncle drinks it.
Dave: Let me give you some info. Alcohol is made from different food like cereal, fruits or vegetables.
Cathy: What does that mean?
Dave: It means they let these fruits, vegetables and cereal go through a process called fermentation. As an example, winemakers add yeast to grape juice, the yeast changes the juice’s sugar into alcohol.
Cathy: I did not know that.
Dave: Interesting, right? They mainly let the fruit or cereal sit for a while, and then the food transforms into alcohol.
Dave: [Laughs] Yup, I feel the same way as you Cathy. Have you ever seen someone drinking alcohol and then they start to act differently?
Cathy: Yes, my uncle was acting funny at my mom’s party, but I did not like it.
Dave: Yeah, I bet it was strange! Let me tell you why he acted like that. The alcohol creates an effect on the brain and on your body that can seem pleasant at the beginning, but after a few drinks, it affects how they think and act. This is why, as an example, you cannot drive after just 2 beers. Alcohol affects your sight, you can’t judge distance as well, and your reaction’s slow too, making it dangerous for yourself and others.
Cathy: Now I understand. I heard that you cannot buy alcohol if you are not 18 years old?
Dave: Yes Cathy, it is true for some parts of the world, but in the United States, you need to be 21, and here’s why. Alcohol can be a dangerous poison for children. Alcohol causes low blood sugar. Children who drink alcohol can have seizures and fall into a coma; they could even die. Remember, as a child your body is not fully formed so you will need way less alcohol to have the same effects as an adult.
Cathy: But alcohol is legal, so why is it dangerous?
Dave: That’s an excellent question! Kids might see their parents drink or watch TV commercials that make drinking look like a lot of fun. You might see people drinking and watching sports together or having a big party. There was a time when it was illegal to drink. Now they have laws to monitor it. It’s when alcohol is abused, by drinking too much too often, that it becomes a problem and can be dangerous. So, remember, it is a big NO for children and teens.
Cathy: What is it like when you drink?
Dave: This is a good question. It does different things such as:
- Distorted vision, hearing, and coordination, you have less control of your body.
- Altered perceptions and emotions, like thinking someone is angry when he is not.
- Impaired judgment, which can lead to accidents, drowning, and other risky behaviors. This means that the person cannot judge what to do in specific circumstances, such as deciding to go swimming in freezing water, which can lead to drowning.
- Bad breath
- Hangovers. That means the day after consuming too much alcohol, you can have a headache, nausea, fatigue and other symptoms.
Cathy: Wow, now I know why my uncle looked bad the next morning. If it is that dangerous, why do teens drink?
Dave: Great question, Cathy! Here are some of the reasons young people drink alcohol:
- To fit in;
- To escape or relax;
- To relieve boredom;
- To seem grown up;
- To rebel;
- And to experiment.
They think alcohol is a solution. But eventually, alcohol becomes the problem. When people consume alcohol, they have to do it in moderation. Now, let’s play true or false.
Cathy: Yes! I like games.
Dave: Can you drive if you’ve had 4 beers?
Dave: Very well done! Is alcohol a drug?
Dave: Actually, alcohol is a drug. People think it’s not because it’s accepted in society, but it’s one of the most abused drugs in the world. Can you have fun without drinking?
Cathy: Of course. I am having fun now without alcohol.
Dave: [Laughs] Yeah, me too Cathy, me too. You can have fun, enjoy life, party, go out with friends, watch a game when you’re older, all without drinking. Between you and I, when you look at some people drunk, they don’t seem to be having fun and the people with them are not either. We’ve made it to the end, Cathy. Good job, guys! I hope it cleared up a few things about alcohol. Live a drug-free life!
SUPE: Hey, everyone! I am back! I’m so proud of you for listening all the way to the end. And don’t forget to complete the test below. You’re on your way to becoming SUPErstars! [Laughs]
Test Your Knowledge on Alcohol
- | What is alcohol?
Get Answer Here — 0:39
- | Can you drive if you had 3 beers?
Get Answer Here — 1:34
- | Can you buy alcohol if you are under 21 years old in the U.S.?
Get Answer Here — 2:01
- | Is it a problem if you drink alcohol too much or too often?
Get Answer Here — 2:57
- | Can adults drink alcohol in moderation?
Get Answer Here — 4:20
- | Is alcohol a drug?
Get Answer Here — 4:37
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