Alcohol is the most frequently used drug by teenagers in the United States. Aproximately half of junior and senior high school students drink alcohol on a monthly basis, and 14% of teens have been intoxicated at least once in the past year. Nearly 8% of teens who drink say they engage in binge drinking which means that they consume at least five or more alcoholic drinks in a row.
Have you talked with your teenager about this subject? With all of the peer pressure, your kids may feel that to get along with their friends they need to drink alcohol. And they may think that it is not a big deal. However, every parent knows that combining alchol and teenagers can have deadly consequences. Here are some topics that you can include in your conversation.
Drinking and Driving: Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among our youth who are between the ages of 15 to 20. As parents, have you established rules with your new, young driver to insure that you and your teenager understands the necessity for responsible driving? No texting while driving and no drinking before or while driving. Do they understand that if they are caught by police for underage drinking, they lose their license?
Suicide: Alcohol can magnify the negative conditions of depression and stress. It can contribute to suicide, which is the third leading cause of death among people between the ages of 14 and 25. Drinking can alter objective thinking so much that suicide can seem to be a reasonable solution to a difficult situation. As parents, how are you keeping the lines of communication open with your teen? Have you noticed behavior changes that may be the result of alcohol consumption?
Sexual Assault: Sexual assault, including rape, most often occurs among women in late adolescence to early adulthood,and can take place within the context of a date. Talking about how alcohol and teenagers can impair clear judgment may be important as she begins to date because no one wants to experience this dangerous and devastating experience. Also, drinking alcohol may increase emotional reactions such as anger. If a teen tries to stop sexual advances, this angry reaction is a possibility which can escalate the situation.
Binge Drinking: Your body can not filter the toxins from drinking a large quantity of alcohol is a short amount of time. This produces the potential of alcohol poisoning. It can have deadly consequences. Help your teen find alternatives to this type of deadly partying and help them find strategies if they are feeling pressure from other teens.
There are times when teens find themselves overwhelmed with their use of alcohol and parents need to help them find solutions. There are many organizations that can help with this challenge and provide appropriate services. Often located in private settings, such as what can be found in North Carolina, the families find the help they need.
Helping your teen develop positive self esteem and talking about appropriate choices before these situations occur can help you avoid the devastating consequences when alcohol and teenagers mix.