April is National Alcohol Awareness Month and parents are being encouraged to talk to their teenagers and avoid sponsoring alcohol events for teenagers.
While some parents may assume they are keeping them safe, underage drinking parties can still lead to alcohol overdoses and alcohol-related accidents.
Additionally, parents who allow underage drinking in their homes do not inform other parents about the parties. This can lead to dangerous situations especially if students are on medications that are dangerous when combined with alcohol.
Alcohol Abuse Among Teens
Alcohol abuse is rampant in America among teens. In fact, alcohol is used by more teens in the U.S. than tobacco or illegal drugs. More than 72 percent of high school seniors will have tried alcohol before graduating and a staggering 37 percent will have consumed alcohol by the 8th grade.
It is the most frequently used illegal substance among adolescent youth. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates that thousands of students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from injuries related to alcohol consumption. This does not even include the young individuals who die in alcohol-related car accidents.
Poor decisions related to alcohol can be avoided, and parents and institutions like MADD (Mothers against Drunk Driving) have been making great strides in encouraging parents to talk to their teens about underage drinking.
Tips for parents include:
- Setting family expectations
- Discussing the dangers of alcohol
- Talk about drinking and driving
- Offer a no penalty phone call if they need a ride
- Discuss peer pressure
- Find alternate interests for you teens
- Listen without judgment or threats in conversations about alcohol use
By opening the lines of communication, parents can help protect their children and avoid regret down the line. We can all take the time to ensure that our loved ones are not putting themselves or everyone else at risk.
If you or someone you love have been injured in an auto accident involving a drunk driver, contact our law firm for a free consultation.