According to the CDC, people from 12 to 20 years drink 11 percent of all alcohol consumed in the United States. That is a stunning statistic considering that it’s against the law to drink when you’re under 21. As a community, we can work together to prevent underage drinking and the associated risks and dangers.
Know the Facts
Kids who drink are in danger of health risks, problems at school, drug abuse and a higher risk of suicide. Underage drinkers often binge drink, putting them at risk of death from alcohol poisoning, accidents and assault among other risks. With these facts in mind, is it really worth it?
Don’t Encourage It
According to SAMHSA, most children who use alcohol get it from a friend or family member. If you’re a parent, older sibling or friend, don’t become part of the problem. It may be tempting to be cool or seem smart to supervise kids while they drink, but the fact is that you shouldn’t be giving alcohol to minors ever.
Talk to Kids
Make sure kids know about the dangers of drunk driving. Never drink and drive in front of your kids. If you set a bad example, you can’t expect your kids to listen to you. Ask tough questions, get to know your kid’s friends and be open with your life as much as possible. You and your child are in this together.
Parents should involve friends, peers, family members and teachers in a group effort to talk to kids about underage drinking early and repeatedly. With a strong support system in place, kids will be less likely to drink underage.
On April 3 at 5:30 PM at Pinellas Park High School, the 2012 Florida Kids and Alcohol and Prescription Drugs youth led Town Hall meeting will address underage drinking. Join your peers to discuss the real dangers of underage drinking, ways to prevent underage drinking and how drinking has affected members of the Pinellas community.