According to the American Academy of Pediatrics by the age of nine, children have a positive opinion of alcohol. The average teen tries alcohol for the first time at age 13 and by the time they are in high school one-third reported drinking in the last month. This means if you are raising a child that is nine years of age or older you should be talking with them alcohol.
Parents are the #1 reason teens say they DON’T drink.
Yes, you read that right. Teens who don’t drink alcohol overwhelming say the reason they don’t drink is a fear of disappointing or letting their parents down. Regardless of what you might think, your teens want your respect and want you to be proud of them. Let them know your rules about alcohol and the consequences from breaking those rules.
According to the CDC, teens that drink before age 21 are four times more likely to become addicted to alcohol later in life. If there is a history of substance abuse or alcoholism in the family that risk is even greater. The longer you can put off that first drink the better.
Underage drinking related deaths are completely preventable.
Every year 4,300 deaths are attributed to underage drinking. That averages to about 11 per day. According to a youth risk survey, in the last 30 days, 20% of high school students report riding with a driver who had been drinking. These deaths are completely preventable.
Underage drinking is dangerous
While death is the most extreme consequence of underage is not the only negative life altering consequence of underage drinking. According to the CDC youth who drink are more likely to experience: problems at school, legal trouble, unwanted or unplanned pregnancy, physical or sexual assault, memory problems and abuse other drugs.