HIGH RISK HIGH young person poetry and essay contest

18-25 AGE GROUP

Binge Drinking - Nermina Roggow age: 18

I was heartbroken. I was crushed with sorrow and grief. They say the best medicine for a broken heart is time, but the best medicine for kids my age is alcohol. You just want to forget that the guy your in "love" with won't give you the time of day, or the fact that no matter how hard you try, things don't seem to go your way. You don't care if you end up in the ER or if you do things you will regret. All you want is to forget for a while and not consider the consequences. Most people encounter binge drinking in their life, and I was no exception, like I said I was broken hearted.
It was so cold outside; I expected nothing less of November in North Dakota. At least it wasn't snowing. As I walk into the house I noticed people started drinking already even though we were going to leave in a few minutes. I decided I could have a few drinks, why not? I just wanted to forget the past and start focusing on my future. This could be like a celebration of my new freedom I thought. First it was vodka, then rum, and then I don't even remember to tell you the truth. Eventually we all got our stuff together and headed out the door for a college party. We got in the car and of course I had shotgun. Needless to say I had a few to many and started feeling like I had to throw up. I opened the window just in time to vomit, and unfortunately my friend in the back had her window open and vomit got all over her. At the time I honestly didn't care, and I kept going in and out of sleep. We finally arrived but I was too sick to even go in. So I kept sitting where I was and opened the door and kept puking and puking for what seemed a long time. All of a sudden this guy came out where he noticed me and decided to help me. He rushed inside and got water, a blanket, and a bucket. He made me drink water, and covered me up. He stayed outside that night for a long time, just holding my hair and telling me it was going to be ok. All I could think was, "Why was this stranger helping me?" He didn't know me but in a way he did. He had been a binge drinking too when he was younger. At about 2 a.m. my friends came outside because we were going to leave, but we needed gas. They stopped at a gas station and I needed to pee so I unbuckled myself, only to fall to the ground. At his point I was so out of it, I thought I was in my room but in all reality I was in a gas station parking light. I turned to one of my friends and said, "Please turn off my lights." Somehow my friends got me back in the car. I had drank such a great amount that the next day I had vomit in my hair and no recollection. To this day I don't perfectly remember it all. I remember arriving at the first house, the guy that helped me, and the gas station parking lot besides that it's a blur that my friends retold me.
Based on my personal experience I think North Dakota ranks very high in binge drinking for many reasons. Reason number one is that binge drinking is very accepted here. People over 21 drink and think it's safe because it is legal. The problem is that the youth is coming in close encounter with these drunks and it has becomes part of their environment. Alcohol safety begins at home. Not only should we inform our youth of the consequences, we should inform the parents. We have gained so much knowledge over the years and now we realize the affects of alcohol more then we did 30 years ago. Parents believe they are informed but in all reality they are under informed. That is where the problem lies. Under informed people tend to be buyers and supply the alcohol. That is not how it should be, instead of parents buying alcohol they should be talking to the youth about why they shouldn't go down that path.

The second reason is denial. Most parents think their kids would NEVER do that, so why talk to them? I have wonderful, loving parents that support me and have always been there for me. They never talked to me about drinking because they believed their little girl would never do that stuff. At 18 I can finally be honest with myself and say I was a binge drinking and my parents didn't know for a long time. I don't drink anymore, and the reason is simple. I've seen people get in car accidents because of it, end up in the ER for alcohol poisoning, and even pregnant. I realized I didn't want to be that person. Maybe if my parents talked to me about it, I wouldn't have done any of it. The thing is they didn't, I learned the hard way. I know that if we educated the older generation that would be more comfortable talking to their kids, and thus they will have a better chance than I did.

Binge Drinking - Tessa Lee age: 18
The definition of binge drinking is a usually brief period or bout of excessive alcohol consumption. I believe that people binge drink for multiple reasons, but the main reason, in my opinion, is that they have become depressed due to something that has happened in their family or love life.
Sometimes people become very upset when their boyfriend or girlfriend breaks up with them and some people don't. There are also the people that get so upset that they go out and drink excessively, large amounts in a short period of time. Obviously, this is not healthy for anybody at all. Drinking clearly won't make you feel any better, but regardless of what the consequences will be, people still do it anyway.
When someone in your family gets ill or even dies, it can really impact somebody in a negative way. Of course, there are the people who don't really care, but the ones that do can react in many ways. One of them is to go out drinking. Once again, this is a time where a person would drink an excessive amount in a short amount of time.
The people that react to these kinds of problems like this aren't always heavy drinkers to begin with. The consequences are even worse for people who don't usually drink. They aren't used to alcohol being in their bodies, especially in such large amounts in such a short period of time.
I don't understand why anybody would want to drink like that in the first place, because it just ends up making you feel horrible. In the end, I don't think that drinking is ever worth the consequences that it comes with. People who become upset over something should definitely find a different way to solve their problems besides binge drinking. They are only hurting themselves.
High Risk High Poem - Anonymous age: 25

Life is a movie, being a kid is just a scene.
Teens will be teens,
they just react to what they've seen,
all they lack is a dream...

Bottom of the bottle,
rock bottom comes tomorrow.
Gonna be filled with sorrow,
buried in bills, not dollars.

Gonna get rid of problems,
as soon as the booze solves them.
No memories I'm recalling,
like Tom Petty, free fallin'.

Nights are filled with gaps,
life needs a suture.
Days are filled with naps,
it might be a bleak future.

The poison's deadly so be ready,
if you feel you've been alive plenty.
You might be down to your last penny,
and find out life's not friendly...

But it's suicide for insides,
no truths left to lie.
No life for death to defy,
trade the noose for a necktie.

Iron out your head without a crease.
On the rise like bread with lots of yeast.
Don't sell your soul, at worst, just lease.
Hunger to get ahead, or thirst to rest in peace.

The Escape - Kyle Krebs age: 20 *Runner-up

The want encompasses me,
Taking hold like a mother's embrace-
Just as needed and longed for.

Yet is it as welcomed?
Is the love returned?

I swallow the poison
And the liquid fire races down my throat,
Consuming, unrelenting,
Embracing becoming seizing,
An iron tight hold that I can't escape.

Do I want to escape?
As tight as the hold,
The faint breath of familiarity still holds true.
It is present and persistent-
The pain exploding, yet not hurting
Bounding through my veins, my skin:
My sanctuary.
Yet the sanctuary can't hold back,
The feral woods burst forth

Inhibitions falling like a tree
Cut from its base
Falling towards the robust earth,
Hurtling out of control.
I stare in wonder at the once proud might oak
Crushed by its own weight.
Halcyon Days gone,
The forest floor is now its deathbed.

Small animals gather close to the fallen bark.
Even though the mammoth wood is gone,
Seedlings burst forth
Gathering the creatures into a council.
Though the darkest night has passed,
Creatures wait for dazzling day.

Helios leads his flaming chariot through the endless sky,
The resplendent rays touching the new petals.
Dawn has arrived.
Making it through the struggle,
Can someone overcome?
Can you escape?
Yes.

Kiss of Death - Brittany McMahen age: 18 *Runner-up

Binge drinkers
In
North Dakota overindulge because they think the only way to have a
Good time is to go on a bender
Especially when nothing says "good time" like crashing into a Ford Fiesta

Drunk driving is a huge problem in the Peace Garden State because no one is
Reinforcing the fact that more bars do not need to be built
If binge drinking in
North Dakota declined, and ultimately ceased, the
Kiss of Death
In
North Dakota would have to
Gracefully start fading away

Alcohol Awareness Letter - Rudy Frazier age: 18
I'm going to write this letter as if I was writing to my child who chose to drink. I know some of the people listening to this drink and I'm not telling you how to live your life, but I hope that this letter will help you make the decision to not drink.
My sweet child,
I've stared at this paper for hours and days, trying to figure out what to say to you knowing it's too late for you to even read this letter. I have been questioning myself relentlessly trying to figure out what it was I did for you to choose to drink, trying to see where I went wrong, trying to understand why someone with your ability and so much going for you would choose to drink and get in the car, after I told you over and over not to get in a car with a driver who has been drinking. Now I'll never get the one thing I want most now in my life, to hold you one more time and tell you I love you.
You will never truly know the consequences of what has now happened. You will never truly know all the people you have hurt, never know the amount of pain that is causing your mother, brother, sister, friends, coaches, teachers, community, and me from you being gone. We all now have only memories to talk about. Our conversations about you are now marred with sadness because all we have to talk about are the things you used to do, are the things we used to do with you. Our conversations now contain could-have-been's and should-have-been's. I no longer get to share the joy you would bring me by living.
You never drank when you were home. You never had the interest to drink when you lived with your family. Even when your friends would go out and party and offer you a drink you always said no, but when you left you changed your focus from being the best person you could be to being someone else. No one will ever know why you chose this, whether it was to "fit in" or "be cool" or simply because "there was nothing else to do" but now no one will ever get to hear why you chose to drink. No one will ever hear your voice in the ears from you. It will now be from the recordings that we have of you. No one will ever get to see your smile that lit up the room. Now it will be frozen in the pictures that are kept in remembrance of you.
Your brother and sister now have an example to follow, the type of example that shouldn't be an example, the what-not-to-do example. Now when I speak to them about drinking I'll need to say please don't choose to drink like you did. Every time your brother and sister go to hang out with friends, my heart stops every time the phone rings. I'm praying that when I pick up the phone it will not be the words that the police said that one night, "I'm sorry sir but we need you to come down here."
My child you will never know what that one decision has taken away. You will never know what you could have been. You will never know the joy of having children of your own. I will never get to see you get married. I will never get to say to you I love you. We will never get to see what you could have done. That one choice has now affected more people than you ever thought or knew it would. That one decision has now taken your life and I pray that no father will ever have to go through what I have been going through. No parent should ever feel this way. No parent should ever have to bury their child because they chose to drink.
Your loving father.
Suction Cup - Robert Meador age: 21 * 1st Place

His insistence was sloppy.
His mouth moved too much
and his tongue lagged.
Although his voice arched,
his eyes stayed grounded on my feet.

My agreement came with
a weighted exhalation.

His hands slipped off repeatedly
as he hurriedly tried to move my desk.

Once accomplished, we stood apart
on the cheap carpet of our apartment,
all our possessions shoved into the corners of our living room.

He grinned, but it was lost
in his hyperventilated mouth breathing.

He stepped forward, walking on the insides of his feet;
His center of gravity somewhere in his throat.

I punched him in the face
with both hands,
with quick succession.

Eyes closed, he rushed to me.
He embraced me
and we fell to the floor.

His arms held to me.
I peeled them loose.

I took his head in my hands,
held him still,
and brought my knee into his face.

He met my eyes then
with an almost inquisitive gait.

I helped him crawl to the bathroom.

The next morning when he stood looking in the mirror,
He joked, "Look at this nasty shiner"
I laughed, looking at my feet.

Change

The fire leapt surface to far plane; a dance
perhaps meant only for me to be seen.
It never faltered nor its own expanse
stretched too thin. It burned both alive and clean.
The warmth that radiated touched my skin,
and I did wonder why- Always burned warm,
but was not cold, confused, nor none akin.
I knew not to ask. It winked, and performed.
The fire, with grace, consumed all that it touched.
Spread by hand. Thin, orange fingers that smiled, grinned.
I did not disapprove; it had my trust.
Far better in fire than in stagnant wind.
The fire's soft willowy shape whispered near,
but I was cold and warm was its soft sear.

 

Change

Our driver pulled the emergency brake
and the soft spotlight of the moon
lit the ice of the narrow street as our stage.

The axel spun.
Our landing stuck.

And we walked away
from the car perfectly parallel parked,
bumper to bumper, facing the direction we had come.

Our driver stayed behind,
bowed over to vomit in the snow.

 

Change

 

 

In the idea of loneliness, I've found
beliefs that had before hid or refused
to be while optimism stayed around.
In murky pools they swam, 'till I recused
my mangled mind from the hope of relief.
And you, undoubtedly, will take the 'oft used
position of- "You gave up, you chose grief."
You'll speak your piece, and walk away excused;
not knowing or caring for the heart strings
caught up in your teeth. Every step that's made
pulls tighter, harder as they'll sadly cling.
With the turn of your back, you will persuade:
This loneliness is home of stone and brick-
with mortared windows, chimney's black smoke thick.

 

Change

 

We were waiting for the drunk bus;
the public transportation predicated
on the expectation of drunkenness.

It is, for all intents and purposes,
similar to the magic school bus,
the great vehicle of legend in my youth;
minus the putrid smell and stick of puke,
the amateur pole-dancing,
and the two people in the back
refusing to miss her opportune ovulation time.

The wait, however, became far too long
for our female companions.

They adopted the stiff posture of a sumo-wrestler,
squatting, back bent, elbows on knees.

They pulled up the hem of their dresses,
pulled their panties to a side,
and they proceeded to urinate onto the sidewalk.

Change

 

The pallor of his skin
was reproduced in the iridescent light;
reflected in the white walls, the white tiles;
and hollowed by the tight air that oozed empty space.

My scrubs were purple; his blue.

We shuffled in our padded socks
and we mumbled when we spoke.
I never saw beneath the hood of his eyebrows.

Our beds resided in the same room.
At times he slept, at times he withdrew to
racking shouts- conducted by the constant
jerking of his limbs.

"Don't you judge me."
He pushed out past
the lurches of his jaw.

"Don't you ever judge me."

I remained silent.
I let my head fall to my knees, to sleep,
my back against the wall.

 

Change

The maturation time provided thus
has cultivated consequences vile.
What once was milk and honey, villainous
became. The sweet concoction of beguile
resides in memories both forged and sealed,
and in attachment's numberless, thin thorns.
But in flesh, bone, and conscious smiles concealed,
the supple wine of taste and savor warns
not as it rots to vinegar's account.
The succulent cream of a warm time past
coagulates, spoils, and in amount
runs thick and yellow; curdled to the last.
Submerged within this soured, viscous taint,
what once was good now plagues without restraint.

Change

Binge Drinking Essay - Lyndsey Erker age: 18
Look, look what I've done,
I thought this would be fun.
I took a few drinks it can't affect anyone.
Look, look what I did,
I can drive home,
I don't need to use a phone.
Look, look what is my name?
Lord will only know, I am in pain.
While drinking in life, nothing will I gain.
Binge Drinking Poem - Dana Hillius age: 24

Wanting to grow up quick, but still underage
High School is a party, beer's all the rage

Beer and liquor are fun, your future seems bright
But the damage is done, it could cost you your life

I heard about MADD, "Don't Drink" and all that
Never took it serious, 'Til I lived out the facts

"Another lecture!" you say, I know what your thinking
Now wishing I would have listened, before I started drinking

I' ve heard of kids dying, but it always happened to another
Now I'm forever haunted, by the screams of a mother

Screams for a daughter who died, one very close to me
Due to underage drinking, she will be forever sixteen

Pleading for you to think carefully, maybe that's all I can do
If I can get through to someone, I hope that it's you.

Binge Drinking - Katie Unterseher age: 18
"Hey what are you doing this weekend?"
"Oh just going to the big party."
Somehow, that seems to be the answer all the time.
"Just going to go out and drink with some friends, you know there's nothing else to do in ND."
Nothing else to do? That's why you go and binge drink?
Why do you potentially put your life at risk?
Because 'there's nothing to do.'
You prefer to blackout and not remember a thing from your weekend.
Because 'there's nothing to do.'
You try to drive home after 'a couple' beers and end up in the hospital.
Why? Because 'there's nothing to do.'
Binge drinking.
A lot of people do it.
Walk through the halls of any high school and you'll hear about an up and coming party
Or how 'wasted' somebody got
(And no, not the same kind of party definition there was when you were six.)
This party will have alcohol, loud music, and smoke.
Not, a SpongeBob birthday cake, balloons and goody bags for the guests.
Teens do it a lot.
Adults do too, but more often it occurs in teens.
Why?
Teenagers feel invincible.
Nothing will happen to them.
So why not break the law?
Why not drink? When you do it's like you're a whole new person.
You have so much fun.
Well, until the next day.
The thrill.
You aren't allowed to have it, which makes you want it even more!
"So Bill drinks. Maybe if I do it, he'll like me."
"Maybe I'll make more friends."
"I mean, there's nothing better to do in this town."
That statement is true in some ways.
Those little towns where they really don't have much to do,
Why not go out in the country, blast music from the old Ford pickup?
It happens in every state.
I mean it will happen, teenagers like to feel rebellious
They like the way it makes them feel.
Not many teens listen to mommy and daddy their whole life.
They want to do what everyone else is doing.
Binge drinking.
Why is ND number one though?
We have crops
When other states have 24/7 shopping malls or places 'kids' can hang out at.
I mean, 'Everyone else is doing it.'
And, 'there's nothing better to do.'
Here I Go - Brenny Didier age: 18
Here I go.
Going to a party.
It's my
Best friend's
Fifth day
In a row,
Of doing this.
I just want to
See,
See what it's like.
Here I go.
Now we're here.
Alcohol.
Everywhere.
It's 10 o'clock.
Here I go.
I try
It.
Alcohol.
Not for me,
It tasted
Horrible.
But my
Best Friend
Sure likes it.
Likes it a lot.
Alcohol.
Here I go.
I want to
Leave.
But she doesn't.
She likes it,
Likes it a lot.
She's so drunk.
Alcohol.
Drunk.
So drunk.
Here I go.
Crying.
I'm crying
And she's beyond
Drunk.
Doctor.
"She needs a doctor!",
I heard someone say.
Here I go.
Call 911.
I taker her,
Meet the ambulance.
They take her
Away.
My
Best friend.
She's in the
Hospital.
I'm in
Her
Room.
Here I go.
Crying.
Again.
I hear the doctor
Quietly say,
"You better go,"
Then
He says,
"There she goes,
Dead."
And now,
Here I go.
A Fast Goodbye - Sean Lawler age: unknown

Hearts beating obsessively

The feeling of total power rushing through your veins

Liquor pouring down each other's throats

Each person aging on the next to go another round

Plowing through entire cases full of beer

One after the other

All for just one high that may never come

Trying to wash away days, weeks, months and entire years' worth of problems

With one night to obtain this goal

Only to have them return again in the morning

Partying past a group of teens

Showing joyful expressions to each of your friends

You hoist your bottle in the air

Trying to look as cool as possible

All in order to be in the in-crowd

Saying it's time to go your friends drag you to your car

Getting in the truck to end a night of partying

You pull out of the corn field with your beer still clutched in one hand and steering with the other

Curving every which way going down the highway

Not knowing it may be your last drive

Switching back and forth between the road and your friends

Never seeing the bright light to appear in the distance

Looking back one last time to laugh with your friends

The semi clips your car at 110

Your clock chimes midnight as the car swerves into a tree

Coming to a dead stop

Binge Drinking - Kyla Pederson age: unknown

So innocent you think the alcohol consumption is,

"I'll never have too much, I'll be careful."

Only you do drink too much, you aren't careful.

Eventually you start drinking so fast that you lose sight,

Sight of what's happening around you.

No longer is it innocent drinking,

Now you're consuming alcohol at a rate that is incomprehensible.

Of course, that's okay with you.

Drinking is better than killing or robbing, right?

At least your state doesn't have the highest cyber bullying rate, right?

Not right. Amplified drinking is a shameful matter.

Eventually you drunkenly convince your friends to join.

They start out slowly, like you did.

But eventually they blindly take more and more drinks,

Now they have reached the point of no return.

Within a short amount of time, you've convinced more people to accompany you.

Months later the amount of binge drinkers has multiplied,

The numbers have boosted hastily.

Leaving the residents of entire state,

To ignorantly continue guzzling down alcoholic beverages every day.

North Dakota has become number one, not in a good way.

Highest binge drinking rate,

Not something to be proud of.

UNDER 18 AGE GROUP

Too Many Hearts to Break - Stephanie Overton age: 13

Binge drinking killed her
Before my birth day
Way back in '98
I'll never see her
Except in pictures
Because of her mistake

A high-risk problem
With-out solution
Of which she tried to make
My father's mother
And of another
Too many hearts to break

Left me down
Without her around
No cookies we could make
Cans are heartless
Filled with nothingness
Way into her they went

Vodka, Millerlight
Such a sorry sight
To see through her eyes
Emotionless and empty too.
They took her life, and many others
Uncles, sons, sisters, and mothers

My grandmother, stuck without life
I could've loved her,
With all my might
She was stolen,
Away from me
Because of horrid binge drinking

So now I ask you
All you young people
Please don't follow her path
You're families love you,
And want to keep you
But drinking, you won't last

Binge Drinking - Lauren McMillan age: 17

Some think it makes them cool
Others do it because it's fun
they don't know they look like fools
when they wind up puking when their done

You say it won't happen again
but we all know that's not true
when you proceed to profane
and it ends up in your shoe

It's become something you do a lot
this binge drinking that you do
but it's not something that your momma taught
because you might end up like Uncle Lue

He drank to much and way to often
the alcohol had finally got him
days before they laid him in his coffin
you ignored the warning and got drunk again.

You wrapped your car around a pole
not knowing if you'd make it out alive
God blessed your soul
and you survived

You now will take your mom's advice
to go out with friends who are thinking
without paying the price
of the effects of binge drinking.

Binge Drinking - Sydney Reimers age: 17

Are you curious?
Stressed?
Wanting to fit in?
Go on, take that bottle and binge.

Drink until you're drunk.
Drink as much as you can.
In the littlest time,
You'll be just fine.

It felt so good,
to be so free.
Just one more time,
it can't hurt me.

I drank until I was drunk.
I drank as much as I could.
In the littlest time,
I wasn't so fine.

Don't know where I am.
Don't know how I got here.
Am I in the hospital?
Or did I mishear?

Turns out,
You can't be so lucky.
To feel so good,
And then feel so yucky.

Ya, I've learned my lesson.
Binge drinking isn't worth it.
It can cost you a lot,
But my life cost every bit.

Thank You, Dad, For Saving My Life - Lacey McKenzie age: 17

You put on that happy face,
And let those pearly whites glow.

Now you go home and tip the bottle up;
You let it flow down to your liver.

Now hide the bottle before the police start their chase;
But the blue and red lights don't show.

You're safe; now you fill your cup.
You love it; the alcohol is like a fast river.

Nobody knows you're hurting like this;
So admit it, you know this isn't the way out.

Sure, the pain goes away for a while,
But you know that if your dad finds out, he'll send you away.

You know that even if you're not caught, "okay" is not the word for this.
Seriously now, you need to tell someone what this is about.

Don't just drink till you're drunk and hide your pretty smile.
Instead, you should show off that smile and throw the bottle away.

Six months have come and gone,
You're six months sober since your dad sent you to treatment.

You succeeded, you gave it up!
And no more hiding… You're innocent and free.

Alcohol was the biggest part of your life, and you overcame it and moved on.
You despised your dad for sending you in, but you didn't see past it or what he meant.

He loved you, so he gave you up.
Your dad didn't want you to drink your life away; he couldn't just let you be.

He did it for you, because he didn't want you to end up just like his wife.
…in the ground, under the cold sediment.

And now you say, "Thank you, Dad, for saving my life.
I knew what I was doing wasn't right."

Binge Drinking - Hadeel Alhamadah age: under 18 (grade 10)

I've been good; I do what I'm told
I went to a party, drank nothing but coke
On my way home, the light turned green
I put my foot on the gas, then started to scream

I woke up later, on the doctor's bed
"She's not gonna make it." Is what he said
I couldn't open my eyes, but I heard everything
Because he decided to drink, my life was hanging by a string

I heard my mom crying, and my dad hoping for the best
The person who drank, didn't know he caused this mess
Now what had I done to deserve this here?
I wanted to do more, but the end is near

I only had about 17 years?
It's not my fault he had all those beers
What I don't get is why this happen to me?
I wanted more, but now we'll never know what could be.

Binge Drinking - Jon Arechigo age: Under 18 (grade 9)
This is my research over a period of time from people I have known who have witnessed and or been involved binge drinking.
My friend, Alex, believes strongly that binge drinking is wrong. He believes that at times drinking is okay if you don't go over your limit. If you binge drink you need to realize that you are not only risking your own life but also those of your loved ones. You need to learn how to control your drinking and how to control yourself.
Amy, a girl I know, told me a story of when she was first married. She was with her husband and they noticed a drunken man wandering around. He could not stay in one place for a movement, he could not stay still, and he was stumbling around aimlessly. He kept drinking, not thinking about the consequences. After a while she noticed that he fell and puked everywhere and the funny part was that it was -20 F and his bile if not instantly, very shortly after, froze to his face. She learned to control her drinking because she did not want her husband or herself to turn out like that drunk man.
Margo's statement about binge drinking is that you should not drink more than 2 alcoholic beverages a day. If you do, it's not good for anyone. Binge drinking is deadly because it mostly kills young people because they don't know how to control themselves, let alone control their drinking, so we lose more young than old. She says, "Drinking and puking is dumb. It kills brain cells so rapidly." Don't drink if you're going to go too far.
Then there is me. I have had more than one encounter with binge drinking. I now realize how much trouble I could have gotten into. I've watched so many fall from drinking more than they could handle. Every day I think what I could have done different. I lost so many family members, friends, and loved ones to the terror of drunk driving, alcohol poisoning, and just bad decisions. I wish I never got involved in all those bad crowds, if I could take it all back I would. I just really hope that anyone that reads this will think twice about drinking. Just stop before you take out your own life or someone you care dearly for.
Binge Drinking - Mackenzie Yaggie age: 17 *Runner-up
The morning of September 19, 2009, I woke up next to a puddle of my own vomit. The night before, I almost drank myself to alcohol poisoning. This is one of the worst memories I have and it was the result of binge drinking. North Dakota leads the country in the highest amount of binge drinkers, whether it's people under the legal age or over it. In my opinion, North Dakota has the highest rate of binge drinking because it is so widely accepted and it's not looked down upon, like it should be.
It was a Friday night after a varsity football game, and everyone wanted to get together and hang out. I was 15 years old and a sophomore in high school. My friends and I heard that a senior boy was having a party at his father's shop a few miles out of town. We wanted to go the party because we were bored, like usual, and we wanted to hang out with our classmates. Before we left for the party, I went to see what my sister, who was home from college, was doing in her room. She was drinking wine when I walked in the room so of course I wanted to try some. Not thinking about the consequences, I drank some wine. On our way to the party, I noticed that I was already drunk from the wine. When we got to the party, I started adding vodka to my soda. I kept asking my friend to try my drink to see if it was strong enough. She kept saying no, so I kept adding more. I think I wanted to have the strongest drink so she'd be impressed by me. I wasn't thinking about what could happen later on. I wasn't thinking about how my body would react to the alcohol. I wasn't thinking about going home to my parents or the possibility of the police coming to the party. To sum it up, I wasn't thinking. Everything from then on became a blur. I do not remember much. I was lying in the backseat of a car because I could barely stand on my own when is saw the blue and red flashing lights. The police had come and I knew I was going to get in trouble. I walked over to the group of people, who were talking to the officers. The officers were asking if anyone had been drinking. A few minutes later my boyfriend and I headed towards his car to leave when an officer started to question us. He asked if I had had taken a breathalyzer yet, and I lied and said yes. He opened the car door and found my bottle of alcohol sitting in my purse. He then dumped it out and told us to leave. I felt terrible because my boyfriend could've gotten in trouble for my alcohol that was in his car. On my way home, I began vomiting. When I had gotten home, I went to bed right away. My sister woke me up a half an hour later, and I immediately began vomiting. She became very worried, so she woke up my parents. They took turns sitting by my bed to make sure I wouldn't choke on my own vomit and to make sure my breathing didn't become irregular. My mother was trying to contact the hospital to see if she should bring me into the emergency room. She was also trying to contact my friends to see how much alcohol I had consumed. On the following Monday at school, it was awful. Everyone had heard about the "stupid sophomore" from the party that weekend. People were also saying I had my stomach pumped. Three upperclassmen had gotten minors from the party and they hated me for not getting in trouble along with them. I was so embarrassed of my actions from that night. I felt like even my teachers knew about it. It was my own irresponsible actions that had caused this whole thing. How could I be so dumb? How could I let myself drink so much? Why was I even drinking? I will never forget that night. I had learned a lesson that some people don't usually learn until they are much older. Although that night was terrible, I do not regret it at all. I learned such a valuable lesson. The lesson was to never put my body through that again. But the whole situation made me think, why do so many people put themselves through that regularly and why does North Dakota lead the nation in the amount of people that binge drink?
In North Dakota, drinking is everywhere. It seems wherever you go, people are drinking, especially teenagers. According to http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/story/2011/07/Binge-drinking-drug-use-more-common-than-thought/49547682/1, 29.8 % of 12 year olds and older reported to binge drinking in the month of July, 2011. In my opinion, the reason that binge drinking in North Dakota is so common, is because it seems like it's always been that way. Everyone says that people in North Dakota drink so much because there's else to do or that it's because it's so boring. I was born and raised in a small town and it seems like binge drinking is a custom to everyone here. It's like a routine: Wake up, go to work or school, and get drunk on the weekends. The younger generation is just taking after the older generation. I know a lot of classmates who have parents that are very lenient about drinking and just look the other way about it. Parents play a major role in the use of alcohol. If the parent doesn't have a problem with their child drinking, the child and their friends think that nothing is wrong with it. But then again, I also know a lot of classmates who have extremely strict parents who do not allow drinking, yet he or she still drinks alcohol. It comes down to the decision of the adolescent. I think that middle schools and high schools should require that the students should have to take a class on alcohol abuse. The students need to learn the harmful effects of it. I do not think that this will prevent kids from drinking, but it will give them information on it. It could also help the adolescent make the decision if he or she wants to drink before they are 21.
Binge drinking is a serious problem in North Dakota. I've learned on my own account on how serious this problem is. I wish everyone could understand what I realized from the party that night. Education is and will be the most important solution to this problem. Hopefully if the right actions are taken, the amount of binge drinking will decrease in North Dakota.
Binge Drinking - Hannah Letnes age: 14

When you get home, you reflect on your day. It has been stressful and full of challenges like every other day. You feel like you need to escape and just want to run away from it all. You walk to your fridge and pull out a bottle of school. You swallow it slowly and you finish it off but need more. So you pop open a can of sports, this time increasing the speed of your intake, but it is still not enough. You quickly empty it and discard both bottles into the garbage. As you return back for more, you begin to get carried away. Taking out cans of activities, friends, church and family. You drink them so rapidly you can barely taste them. As you finish each one, you throw them into the trash.

By now your fridge is nearly empty and you reach for the only bottle you have left, yourself, and like the others start sipping away at it. It is sour and an intense bitter taste lingers in your mouth. Where you are becomes unclear as the room starts rotating around you and you can sense a severe headache approaching. After you vomit once or twice, you begin to fade into a profound sleep. When you finally wake up, your head is still throbbing. You sit up and glance at the horrid mess you have made. You stare at all the empty bottles and cans and it is not until then that you realize that along with those bottles, you have thrown away part of your life.

So why binge? You just leave with more pain than you started with. When you drink, you're not yourself. You miss out on opportunities and may end up having to quit things that you enjoy doing like sports and hanging out with friends. Drinking doesn't help get rid of things on your mind, it is only temporary. When it all wears off you are left with a larger mess to clean up. It is extremely dangerous to binge drink and affects your life dramatically, so why risk it?

Untitled - Anonymous age: 17 *1st place

The bottle sat before me,
Vowing to take me away.
"Confide in me," it whispered,
"I'll be your friend, if I may."

So I broke the seal
And gave a squeal
As the heat seared down my throat.

"Please tell me more," it entreated,
While my tears began to swell.
"I'll be your constant companion,
"And erase all your problems as well."

So I poured it down
And soon enough my frown
Was wiped from my face completely.

Moments later I awakened
To flashing lights and beeping,
For, because of my new-found 'friend',
My very life was fleeing.

So now my eyes have been opened,
And the solution I can now see:
Only one thing can solve my problems,
And that sole being is
Me.

Binge Drinking Essay - Jenni Settles age: 18 and under
Some people binge drink to forget, others binge drink because it's what the cool kids are doing. In my dictionary, 'cool kids' are defined as Pokemon lovers who like cats and support homosexuality. Apparently, to everyone else, 'cool kids' are defined as people who make unethical decisions and worry more about their appearance and social status than their family and friends.
However, this essay is not about the "cool kids", homosexuality, or (most importantly) Pokemon. It is about binge drinking.
Binge drinking is where someone decides to drink just to get drunk. I was surprised when I saw that North Dakota was ranked number one for this. In addition to being ranked number one, I would personally like to thank the adults who are setting this example for teenagers.
If you keep on doing what you're doing, North Dakota will also be ranked number one for the state with the most D.U.I.'s issued. That will be an amazing place to live in, wouldn't it?
'Welcome to North Dakota! Home of the Binge Drinkers! We've been undefeated for six/seven years and we're still going strong!'
Even though I am mostly writing this as a humorous essay, binge drinking is still a serious issue. Not just in North Dakota; in every state across America.
I know you're probably reading this and thinking, "Wow. This chic' is such a nerd. Who would write about something like this?" Well, I agree with you. Who would write about binge drinking being ranked number one in North Dakota and how it's killed many young lives?
Even though I have never been affected by binge drinking, I know that many kids my age have been. And I know lives have been changed forever because of it. It's time for North Dakota to withdraw from being the Home of the Binge Drinkers and turn to a more respected title.
'Welcome to North Dakota! Home of the Cookie Bakers!'
Binge Drinking - Hannah Letnes age: 14 *Runner-up
When you get home, you reflect on your day. It has been stressful and full of challenges like every other day. You feel like you need to escape and just want to run away from it all. You walk to your fridge and pull out a bottle of school. You swallow it slowly and you finish it off but need more. So you pop open a can of sports, this time increasing the speed of your intake, but it is still not enough. You quickly empty it and discard both bottles into the garbage. As you return back for more, you begin to get carried away. Taking out cans of activities, friends, church and family. You drink them so rapidly you can barely taste them. As you finish each one, you throw them into the trash.
By now your fridge is nearly empty and you reach for the only bottle you have left, yourself, and like the others start sipping away at it. It is sour and an intense bitter taste lingers in your mouth. Where you are becomes unclear as the room starts rotating around you and you can sense a severe headache approaching. After you vomit once or twice, you begin to fade into a profound sleep. When you finally wake up, your head is still throbbing. You sit up and glance at the horrid mess you have made. You stare at all the empty bottles and cans and it is not until then that you realize that along with those bottles, you have thrown away part of your life.
So why binge? You just leave with more pain than you started with. When you drink, you're not yourself. You miss out on opportunities and may end up having to quit things that you enjoy doing like sports and hanging out with friends. Drinking doesn't help get rid of things on your mind, it is only temporary. When it all wears off you are left with a larger mess to clean up. It is extremely dangerous to binge drink and affects your life dramatically, so why risk it?
Untitled - Michael B Amberson age: 14

here was a time that binge was fun

till the morning came and have a hang over

was there ... cold showers, high temp, and vomint.:(

then the time came sport way to fast ,my ua

was bad so i could not play sports and never went to school it

made my life a hell hole me family was mad no one would come over

they were afrad that i was drunk i got vere angry ,lost all happinnes

mast of all my grandma was in her last yaers

she died angry at me ani could never for give myself

then it took some time for me to find some time to find trement

i found some help i have not been drunk from the day i found help.

 

people of North Dakota start to think of the kids of today

if they see you drenk often the will think that it is fine

to drenk more oftern then the people of 2010

that will kill the world in time.

Binge Drinking - Anonymous age: 16

Sipping away at my soul
I've never experienced it face to face
I'm very laid back in the back round
But I have heard of it
Personally it sounds repulsive and pathetic
But yet again I am not one who gives in
Or tries to fit in, in any way I can.
I'm fine with who I am but clearly it's not the same for you,
You must drink it all away,
You could have real pain or just have little things you call pain so you can drink.
I believe you should grow up already and face reality
But yet again who am I to say whether you should or not
For I am not you or him nor her I am me
And I don't have an undying urge to sip my soul way
Just like you to drown out sorrow and wipe away your tears
Or try to blend in.

Party
Slowly the smell crawls to me reaching my senses
My first instinct is to barf or run away
His is to drink and stay to party and get wasted
To have the possibility that you don't know what just happened
Or to wake next to someone completely repulsive
You show that it's a joy for you
Even though you've never said it you sure show it
If that isn't fact then prove me wrong
Snap out of this addiction
And stop getting so much around

Because then you'd be a waste of the town.
When it all comes back up the next day
Things can get further apart
As so success in life fades away
That's why I am not like you
I don't let success slip away through my fingers
Like how soft sand at a beach vanishes in one's hands in seconds
Or if their wise it can be minutes and they make it last longer
Other times forever.

A Harmless Night - Sheilan Hamasoor age: 15
A Harmless Night
It was a Friday night,
For it was going to be an amazing sight.
School was finally let out for break,
And it was time to make,
I was driving with my boyfriend,
Who would never betray me, for he was my friend, But tonight, that would change everything.
When I thought I loved him in a swing.
Like I said, it was a Friday night
And we were both off to a party to have a great night.
We arrived, had a good time,
And conversed and danced in the light that was lime.
Then something happened,
A dreadful thing no one like me ever wants, Someone brought drinks, But in a blink, I saw him going towards it, Like a driver with his permit.
I was surprised,
Him leaving me my side when he said he would never when the sun raised, But then I thought that he was going to tell them to stop, That drinking would be a bad idea on top But something surprised me even more, He came with drinks for four, Handing me one, but I drop it on the floor.
I tell him all the reasons to not drink, But he shakes his head and drinks.
He tells me not to worry,
For it would be only drink, nothing would be blurry I hesitate for a bit, But he motions me to sit, As he goes out to the dance floor, And acts like he's a fool.
I worry even more,
As I could feel my stomach churn to the core, As he gets even more drinks, I non-stop blink, And when he go gets more and more, I get tired and stand up and walk towards him, He smiles at me that makes me cringe.
I tell him it's enough, and it's time to go home, And without a fight, to the car we roamed.
I motion my hands out for the key,
But he frowns, and with a plea,
He wins to drive the car,
I knew it was a big mistake.
I should have never caved in with an ache, Because for what was going to come, Was not going to be happy, from.
We were driving, a little too fast for my liking, And to make it worse, the roads were slippery, Not exactly cheery.
I wondered if he could see,
He hadn't talked at all, quiet as a flea.
I then looked at my phone, anything to get out of this awkward silence, But when I looked up, I felt the car swerve, and then I heard crashing.
Pain, unbearable, numb everywhere,
Gasping for air,
Knowing that today would be the last day of my life on this world, As I'm curled, I try to register everything.
And with a tear,
I whisper my goodbye to my dear,
And then my eyes shut,
For the last time ever.
Binge Drinking Poem - Anonymous age: 15

Drinking alcohol in moderation and binge drinking alcohol
Not the same
Binge: to excessively indulge in an activity in a short period of time

They tried to explain to me
Because they can drink their pain away
Alcohol is a depressant…it makes it worse

Because it's fun
There's different ways to have fun
I told them

They didn't hear it
They were taken by an ambulance
Their stomachs pumped; bodies damaged
Now tell me what fun is

There's different ways to have fun
I told them

Death on a Christmas Night - Sefika Tahirovic age: 15

We just finished eating Christmas dinner,
We sang and exchanged presents,
You told me you would be with me every Christmas,
Before leaving the last thing you said to be was I'll miss you,

You were driving to a friend's house for a late night Christmas party,
You drank a little too much,
You didn't listen to your friend when she told you not to leave,
You didn't think about the consequences,
You thought you were sober enough to drive,
You thought wrong,
You were driving too fast,
You were on the wrong side of the road,
You didn't see the Semi-truck coming,
What were you thinking?
That's the question that always goes through my head,

Crash
The Semi didn't see you and it collided with your car,
Front first,
You were terrified,
There was blood everywhere,
You heard the ambulance and someone asking if you were alright,
But you couldn't respond,
All you saw was a black hole pulling you away.

You're in a hospital bed hooked up to all different kinds of wires,
I see you and I start to cry,
You're still breathing but barely,
I walk to you and wonder if you're going to be alright,
You whispered one last thing to me before you left,
Always be responsible for you actions.

After that night you were always on my mind when I was thinking about drinking.
About all the consequences about the life threatening decisions,
I could take a life without even meaning to.

Binge Drinking Poem - Travis Justin Bodnar age: 14
Meet my friend's Jim, Jose', and Morgan.
My friend Jim has a last name, Beam, if were together for to long he makes me rather mean.
I'll say mean things, and maybe I'll sing. I'd like you to meet my friend Jim Beam.
My friend Jose' Cuervo tends to come and go. We'll drink for a night, I might start a fight. Wherever I go I bring my bro Cuervo…..
I have a friend named Morgan, we drink together with pride, every time we bar hop, I'm bound for a wild night, every time we get together it's not a pretty sight. O captain my captain, you're the best! When I drink you I feel like I could beat the rest.
After my friend are empty I go down south for some comfort. I take an hour to down it. My loved ones frown upon it…..this makes me angry so I release the Kracken. I lay down the rules and start smackin.
Now its time I eat some crackers because come high morning none of it matters…
Within Societal View - Garret Heiden age: 15
Estimated eighty-eight thousand deaths per year
But rarely does my city ever shudder, even fear
The drink; it's legal, just know where to draw the line
And never by a culture the effects been considered divine.
It could be that it's more dangerous than heroin, even crack
Although the latter might provide a heart attack
Thiscomes from David Nutt, who refers to a collective whole,
Similar answers in Nigeria, but, hey! food for the soul!
There's nothing to do here, so let's sit back, drink up!
There's no harm in it, so fill my cup!
If boredom consumes us then we'll consume more,
And it's no matter if we awake on the floor,
We were safe, never even reached for the car
And I'm sure that next weekend, we'll get just as far.
That Night - Sheela Pankow age: 17
She said the party would be fun; she said I should come. I did. I told my dad a lie; I said I was going to a friend's house to spend the night. He said I could go. She came and picked me up. I was excited and scared at the same time; I didn't know what to expect. We drove up to the house and there were already a lot of people there. We walked up to the door and walked right in.
I was handed a beer and told to keep walking. I slowly began to drink my beer and join the party. An hour later, I had a couple beers. I stopped counting how many my friend had after her first beer plus the shots of vodka she'd taken in the first hour we'd been there. I was having so much fun; I didn't' even know where my best friend was. She could have been upstairs or outside, but all I knew was I didn't care at the present time.
A Girl came running in saying "your friend is in the living room chair; I don't think she's feeling well. I think she's really ill." I went into the living room and I tried to wake her up but she didn't moan; she didn't even budge. I checked for her pulse there wasn't one. Now I think back to that night when we all thought we were cool and bulletproof, when it was all just innocent and fun. I have a picture on my shelf of my friend and I, back when everything was fine. Before that night of alcohol took my firneds life.
Binge Drinker - Lisa Ann Buckhaus age: 14
On the ground
Without a sound
Calling out
To save him now
He was drinking
He was now drunk
He killed his best friend
When he hit a big stump
At the edge of the road
Because he tried to drive home
The next thing that happened
Was quite a tragedy
He had passed out from the excessive drinking
The next thing he knew
There were sirens blaring and people in a rush
He tried to ask what happened but all was hushed
He was air lifted, while his friend sat there numb
As cold as the drinks
That had easily won
Becoming Free - Alexandra Scheuring age: 17

It is the last day of school
As seniors we are the rule
It's our graduation night
And time to make our lives right

We drove out to the large hills
So to stop the busting thrills
We each bring our own to drink
To stop the mooching we think

Someone's stereo beats loud
For there is just our large crowd
There is nothing for miles
Just beer cans in their piles

My best friend is drinking beers
With those beers come her large tears
About the cheating and lies
Her boyfriend's evil goodbyes

She had some more drinks with me
Until at last she was free
From all her worries and cares
Away from those stupid dares

They had dared her to take shots
Until she saw little dots
Through her new vision, she gazed
With that last shot she was fazed

I watched her as she fell down
Everyone gathered around
They thought she had just passed out
But they didn't share my doubt

I dragged her out to my truck
I lifted her, then was stuck
She was not breathing on me
I guess she really is free

Her parents heard the bad news
How she killed herself with booze
Our whole school showed up that day
To set her soul on its way

Binge Drinking Poem - Monica Joy Tangen age: under 18
For my poem is not from experience:
When I first saw you
I was alive
Then I notice you had a couple miller lite
I dived to side that to drink too much
Can kill the ones you love.