Hello my name is Paula Bagwell. I have been substitute teaching since 2005 and have acquired many valuable experiences during this time. I have taught from the elementary level through high school. I have also been able to teach at the alternative school. Having been given the opportunity to have worked with these high risk students, has not only taught me to be a better listener but the value of patience and understanding. I have a passion for working with high risk students and love not only having the ability to teach them but also learning from them too. I have also felt that everyone has something to offer whether it be advice or showing someone how to do something and that is exactly what these students have taught me and in return I them.
I have explained to my students that knowledge is power, and that going to school it very important. I have shared with them when needed my story of how at the age of 42 how my life suddenly changed. In 2006 I was a happily married daughter, wife, and grandmother. I had just started back to college to work on my associates degree. When my world as I had known it all my life changed.
On February 9, 2006 I lost my father to cancer, on May 1,2006 I lost my husband to a right sided brain aneurism The positive of this was that I had made a promise to my father to complete college. He not only knew but so did my husband that one day I would need not only my education but also these experiences to make me not only a stronger person, but a more patient and understanding one. After completing my degree from Wharton County Junior College I knew I had to move forward with my education. I searched and spoke to various academic counselors and found Argosy University best fit my academic needs to make my dreams come true. I truly believe that what a person experiences throughout life makes them completely who they are today. My immediate goal upon graduation is to acquire a job that I will be able to use these skills in counseling and working with high risk students. I am also looking forward to graduate school and becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor.
My time I have spent here at Argosy University I feel been one that has prepared me to be able to move forward with my goals of being a counselor. It has also taught me when a person sets their goals no matter what they can be obtained with hard work and determination. Since transferring into Argosy University I have learned and have a better understanding why certain individuals do what they do. My concentration in substance abuse has also helped me to better understand the students I work with on a daily basis. However, there are many areas that have managed to grab my attention and have been built upon my interest. One of those is the brain functions and exactly how it works and why.
My goal is to obtain a job in the social services area working with adolescence's while attending graduate school. I feel that my time here at Argosy University and the classes that I have taken have prepared me to better understand the various psychological issues that I may encounter on daily basis. My favorite theory is that of Cognitive Psychology with the incorporation of various elements depending on the particular issue. Argosy University has also taught me to keep an open mind while working with various situations.
The work sample that I am going to be showing you will be one that was done during my last class. The reason for this is that my computer crashed and it had all my other papers that were done during my time at Argosy University that would show not only my Cognitive Abilities and Understanding , but also Research Methods along with my Communications Skills oral and written. Argosy taught me also about ethics and the challenges that one may encounter while working in the field of Psychology. There was also research done that showed how diversity is very important when working with various individuals with diverse backgrounds. Psychology has changed throughout the years however and has expanded various areas of our daily lives. Psychology can not only be found all around us, but also being used not only in then healthcare industry but also in schools, business offices, sports industry, and even in the political field. I have to say that one of my favorite class that I have taken at Argosy had to deal with being an active listener and understanding communication skills. I had always felt that I was an active listener due in part to me being a substitute teacher and dealing with a diverse group of individuals on a daily basis. However this particular class taught me how to improve them and to be more sensitive and aware of others cultural beliefs. While working on this particular paper I was able to use my critical thinking skills along with my research abilities.
EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION BY MINORS PAULA BAGWELL ADVANCED GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY/PSY 492 XD ARGOSY UNIVERSITY
Abstract In today’s society it seems everyone has their personal opinion of what the legal drinking age should be. Should a person stop and ask a high school upper classman or even a college freshman they would probably answer 18 years old. There argument might be that if a person is old enough to vote or go to war they should be old enough to drink. However, the argument can even go further as to the effects of alcohol consumption by minors to the brain. One of the questions to be approached will be, “What are some of the causes and risks with the consumption of alcohol by minors?” By understanding the causes and the risks of underage drinking maybe the problem could eventually be eliminated. Educating not only the teachers, and school staff but also parents and guardians of our youth might help them to better understand the long-term effects of alcohol abuse. It is not only important to understand the health risks of alcohol but also the legal issues that can affect a minor’s life well past the legal drinking age of 21. So the main question to be answered will be, “What are the effects of alcohol consumption by minors?” By asking this question it will cover the whole picture, from not only health issues but also some of the legal issues along with the pros and cons. Discussion According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, (2006) also referred to as NIAA, alcohol is a drug of choice by many youth today. They go on to explain that as a result that underage drinking is a leading health problem in the United States. The NIAA, (2006) gives a statistic of approximately 5,000 young people under the age of 21 die each year as a result of underage drinking. They go on to break it down as 1,900 die in motor vehicle crashes, 1,600 as a result of homicides, 300 from suicide, the rest are from falls, burns, drowning, and various other injuries. With these statistics present still today, “Why do the youth still drink?” Merino, (2008) answers this question by explaining that some children move into adolescence to young adulthood by encountering not only dramatic physical, emotional, and major lifestyle changes. These developmental changes such as going through puberty with increasing independence have been known to be associated with alcohol use. This can begin to set the stage for not only beginning to consume alcohol but to consume it dangerously. Some young people drink at this stage because of the “thrill” of it also known as “risk-taking” and some because of the peer pressure from others also known as “expectancies” of how others view them (Merino, 2008). It is also important to understand that not only the environment but also that genetics do play a role. Some of the heredity factors are behavioral and psychological that joins together to not only increase but decrease a person’s risk for alcohol problems (Merino, 2008). This includes one’s tolerance to alcohol’s effects may be directly linked to genetics. Merino, (2008) gives an example of a child of an alcoholic or having family members that are alcoholics at greater risk for having alcohol issues. It is important to understand that drinking at such a young age can also lead into further complications with one’s health.
Starting to drink at such a young age for whatever the reason may lead to potential health issues. The severe health issues may not show up right away as they are not as common in adolescents, as they are in adults. However, studies show that young people who drink heavily do put themselves at higher risk (Merino, 2008). Some of the effects range from the brain, liver, growth and endocrine areas (Merino, 2008). When it comes to how alcohol affects the brain, some are quite evident as soon as a person has had a few drinks, such as slurred speech, difficulty walking, blurred vision, slower reaction times, and impaired memory. Some of these impairments clear up as soon as the drinking has stopped and sobriety has been achieved (NIAAA, 2004). The NIAA, (2004) explain that there are a number of factors that influence how and to what extent alcohol can affect the brain which includes: how much and often a person drinks, the age at which he or she first started drinking and how long, the person’s age, level of education, gender, genetic background, and family history of alcoholism. NIAAA, (2004) goes on to explain that it is also important to know whether the individual was at risk as a result of prenatal exposure to alcohol and also one’s general health status. The NIAA, (2004) further explains that scientists are still studying all of these areas and the effects alcohol consumption has not only on the brain but also to other organs of the body. Blackouts from binge drinking are much more common among the high school and college students. The NIAAA, (2004) did a survey of 772 college undergraduates about their experiences with blackouts, 50% reported of the blacking out at some point in their lives due to alcohol, 40% reported having blacked out within the last year . Of those surveyed 9.4% reported blacking out due to alcohol use which resulted in potentially dangerous acts such as vandalism, fighting, unsafe sex, and driving (NIAAA, 2004). Statistics show that a person who binge drinks in high school will be 3 times more likely to binge drink in college (Volkmann, 2006). It is also important to understand the difference between passing out and blacking out. Blackouts occur at quite a high alcohol level or after rapid consumption of alcohol (Volkmann, 2006). A person often experiences blackouts prior to passing out. Binge drinking and blackouts can often lead to alcohol poisoning which can be deadly. Some signs of alcohol poisoning are mental confusion, coma, the person cannot be aroused, vomiting, seizures, slow/irregular breathing, hypothermia (low body temperature, bluish skin color) (Volkmann, 2006). If alcohol poisoning is a possibility it is important to call 911 immediately (Volkmann, 2006).
It is important to be aware of the consequences of drinking under the age of 21 even if the minor is supervised by a parent or in their own home. It is punishable by law monetary and/or jail time in the state of Connecticut (Jalowiec, 2010). The ramifications can even go further by the parent being held liable for their child’s actions should they be in a car accident and harm not only themselves but possible someone else (Jalowiec, 2010). The rate of car crashes among the age group of 16-20 years old is more than twice of that for someone over the age of 21in alcohol related vehicle crashes (Teen Drug Abuse, 2002). Enforcing the drinking laws according to Merino,(2008) is a hard task due to changing individuals attitudes and having them to understand that this is truly a serious problem among the youth. Underage drinking alone is a $62 billion dollar a year industry even with the drinking age being raised to 21 (Merino, 2008). However, 42 states have set their own rules for alcohol consumption for minors and 8 states have no exceptions at all allowed (ProCon.org, 2011). This does not include county, cities, and towns having set their own laws to follow (ProCon.org, 2011). According to ProCon.org, (2011) educating not only the underage drinker of the consequences at hand but also adults is the best way. It is important to be aware of the consequences of drinking under the age of 21 even if the minor is supervised by a parent or in their own home. It is punishable by law monetary and/or jail time in the state of Connecticut (Jalowiec, 2010). The ramifications can even go further by the parent being held liable for their child’s actions should they be in a car accident and harm not only themselves but possible someone else (Jalowiec, 2010). The rate of car crashes among the age group of 16-20 years old is more than twice of that for someone over the age of 21in alcohol related vehicle crashes (Teen Drug Abuse, 2002). Enforcing the drinking laws according to Merino,(2008) is a hard task due to changing individuals attitudes and having them to understand that this is truly a serious problem among the youth. Underage drinking alone is a $62 billion dollar a year industry even with the drinking age being raised to 21 (Merino, 2008). However, 42 states have set their own rules for alcohol consumption for minors and 8 states have no exceptions at all allowed (ProCon.org, 2011). This does not include county, cities, and towns having set their own laws to follow (ProCon.org, 2011). According to ProCon.org, (2011) educating not only the underage drinker of the consequences at hand but also adults is the best way. Peer education is very important to help send messages about the seriousness of underage drinking and the ramifications it can cause not only to the young person themselves but the others surrounding them (Wechsler, 2002). There has also been an "alcohol awareness week" setup at the college level to help make the underage drinker aware of all the dangers (Wechsler, 2002). They are trying to make them aware of the dangers of binge drinking and all the signs of possible alcohol poisoning (Volkmann, 2006). Educating not only the youth of today but also the parents and guardians and making everyone aware of the dangers of underage drinking are very important (Alcoholics Anonymous, 2001).
Conclusion There is strong evidence showing that alcohol consumption among minors is still very present among high school and college students. There are parents, teachers, and counselors that are trying to make it more known about the dangers of drinking and the consequences that can follow. Alcohol and the consumption of it by underage drinkers are still prominent in communities around the country. Parents are still struggling with exactly how to deal with it even with all the various literature readily available for them. According to Volkmann’s (2006), “ From Binge to Blackout,” the problem that continues throughout the issue is dealing with denial. This continues to be the issue throughout the various literatures studied even in the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s (2004), Alcohol Alert, “ Alcohol’s Damaging Effects On The Brain,” speaks of the binge drinking and the denial process of not only the parents but also the child involved. So the question asked, “Is there anything a parent or guardian can do to help with the denial?” The denial process even goes into the next question, “The causes and risks of underage alcohol consumption?” The answer would seem simple to educate not only the child but also themselves, however sometimes this does seem impossible to do. The final question seems to be a very hot topic and has been debated quite often, “Has raising the drinking age to 21 actually helped or has it in reality made it worse?” According to Merino, (2008), Underage Drinking, one side of the argument says that the statistics have been distorted to scare young people not to drink and for states to gain federal funding for changing the drinking age to 21. The other side of the argument shows that young people drinking has actually slowed since the drinking age has changed to 21 (Merino, 2008). Knowing this maybe over time and with more research alcohol consumption among our youth will decline even further.
References Alcoholics Anonymous, (2001). This is the Fourth Edition of the Big Book, the Basic Text for Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. New York City, New York. Jalowiec, M., (2010). Cheshire Cares: Alcohol Awareness. Unconsidered Consequences of Home Alcohol Consumption by Minors. Retrieved March 12, 2011 from chelshirecares.org: http://www.chelshirecares.org/unconsideredconsequencesofhomealcoholconsumptionbyminors . Merino, N., (2008). Underage Drinking. GreenHaven Press, Farmington Hills, MI. National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism, (2004). Alcohol Alert. Damaging Effects On The Brain. Num. 63, October 2004. Retrieved March 12, 2011 from nih.gov: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa63/aa63.htm . National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism, (2006). Alcohol Alert. Underage Drinking. Num. 67, January 2006. Retrieved march 12, 2011 from nih.gov: http://www.pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa67/aa67.htm . ProCon.org, (2011). 42 States That Allow Underage (under21) Alcohol Consumption. Drinking Age. Retrieved March 12, 2011 from procon.org: http://www.drinkingage.procon.org/view.rescource.php?rescourceID=002591 . Steinberg, N., (2008). Drunkard. A Hard-Drinking Life. Dutton, Penguin Group. New York, New York. Teen Drug Abuse, (2005). The Health Effects Of Teen Alcohol Use. Retrieved March 18, 2011 from Teendrugabuse.us: http://www.teendrugabuse.us/teensandalcohol.html . Volkmann, C. &Volkmann, T., (2006). From Binge To Blackout. A Mother And Son Struggle With Teen Drinking. New American Library. New York, New York. Wechsler, H., Ph. D., Wuethrich, B., (2002). Dying To Drink. Confronting Binge Drinking On College Campuses. Rodale, St. Martins Press, New York, New York.
I feel that the philosophy that I live by will help me attain all my goals in life which is, “ Knowledge is power.” The more one learns, the more powerful they are as a person. The idea is to gain the knowledge and use it in a positive meaning.
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