Alcohol is the drug of choice for teens today. It is easily accessible for them and it seems by their use of alcohol that the teens really don’t understand the full scope of the consequences of such behavior.
On the bright side about 60% of kids 12 to 17 years of age reported that they had talked with their parents about underage drinking within the last year. This is great news because kids who have these talks with their parents about drugs and alcohol are statistically less likely to feel peer pressure or temptation to try alcohol or drugs.
About 20 percent of kids 12 to 17 report having used alcohol in the last month. This is a scary statistics. 18 percent of kids who drink are binge drinkers. Teens do not understand that they are actually causing permanent brain damage by drinking to excess. Their bodies are simply not prepared for alcohol intake. They also don’t realize that it can cause growth problems as well as sexual development issues.
23 percent of teens who are sexually active claimed that they had consumed alcohol or used drugs just before the last time they had intercourse.
Parents need to know that part of the key to preventing underage drinking is by having in depth conversation with their teens. The earlier the better. Parent contracts help parents and teens to have these conversations. There are specific parent contracts for drinking and other forbidden substances. These conversations and contracts provide clear guidelines for both you and your teen. This is where you can set the guidelines and let them know clearly what consequences will follow should they decide to go against the rules in the home.
*Statistics were taken from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.