Red Ribbon Week 1st Place Winner Essay
In 2012, 10,076 people were killed in a motor vehicle accident. 200 of those involved alcohol or other drugs. Two of these were Kylie Jobe and Kyle Thornburg, Maize High School graduates. They were killed by a driver whose blood alcohol content was .23, almost three times the legal limit. Knowing that people so close to my community were victims to drunk driving, has made me think twice about drinking before I can legally do it. Drinking and doing drugs not only impairs judgement, concentration, and reaction time, but it can also lead to depression or even death.
In the brain, there are tiny cells called neurons. Neurons translate information into electrical signals that the brain can understand. Alcohol and drugs slow the pace of the Neurons, causing impaired judgement, concentration, and reaction time. It may seem funny when someone is stumbling around because they have had too much to drink, but if that person were to get behind the wheel, the effects could be fatal. Driving requires full attention, which is hard to give while high or intoxicated. A person would not be able to stop, or start, in time, which is the cause of most motor vehicle accidents. Kylie and Kyle were killed at an intersection when it was their turn to go. The drunk driver could not stop in time and crashed into them. The fear of me being that drunk driver is enough to convince anyone to not drink or do drugs, for it is possible to die from drugs and alcohol even when not behind the wheel.
Drugs like Marijuana can affect areas of the brain that control body movements, balance and coordination. This drug, paired with alcohol, can be lethal. Drugs and alcohol can also have permanent effects on the brain, such as sleep disturbances, mood changes, anxiety and depression. These occur when the liver breaks down and toxic substances in it travel to the brain, damaging the brain cells. Alcohol and drugs can also have a negative effect on the heart. Binge drinking and long term drinking can cause the heart to beat too rapidly, or irregularly, forcing doctors to install a pacemaker. Heavy drinking and drug use can also cause strokes and high blood pressure. Strokes are caused by blood clots to the brain, meaning that the brain is not getting enough blood. People who binge drink, long term drink, or do drugs are 39 percent more likely to have a stroke or high blood pressure than people who do not. The negative impact that drugs and alcohol can have on my life is another huge reason that I will not be doing them anytime soon.
Hearing a lot of stories about how people have died due to drugs and alcohol have convinced me to not try them, for my health and for others around me. Kylie and Kyle would still be alive had that driver not been intoxicated. So many more people would still be here today, those who did the drugs and those who did not, if people had just chosen to say no to drugs and alcohol.