As you prepare for a new school year, there’s something important to talk to your teen about in between shifting schedules and packing lunches… drinking!
If you have a child who is in between grades 7 through 12, the pressure for them to drink or do drugs is unavoidable. According to a recent study, 70% of Canadian youth reported drinking alcohol in the past 12 months. Often dismissed as a rite of passage, underage drinking can have severe consequence for today’s youth:
– Alcohol is related to 50% of motor vehicle accidents in which a youth is killed, and 31% of people involved in alcohol-related traffic deaths were youths.
– Teens who drink tend to become sexually active earlier and have sex more often than teens who don’t drink, and are more likely to have unprotected sex.
– Teens who drink tend to have more academic and conduct problems than their non-drinking peers.Young brains are more susceptible to permanent chemical changes from alcohol and drugs that may result in lifelong problems, especially where there is a genetic predisposition or an inherited family tendency towards addiction.
– People who begin drinking in their early teens are more likely to develop alcohol dependence than people who wait until they are adults to drink.
9 tips for parents on how to talk to your teen about the dangers of drinking
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[Editor’s Note: You must be at least the age of majority in your jurisdiction in order to use the Alavida website and services. Remember to always take care of yourself. If you are experiencing a medical emergency or feel you are in a situation that is unsafe or unhealthy, please seek professional assistance. ]
Alex Lee is a doctoral candidate in social work (DSW C), a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and Clinic Director at Alavida Health. He has over ten years of experience in designing, facilitating, and evaluating evidence-based interventions for individuals and families. Alex is trained in addressing mental health issues, trauma, and substance use and has overseen large-scale mental health services for Navy Medicine and the Red Cross. He also served as the interim Clinical Director for the Department of Mental Health and Statewide Clinical Director for Developmental Centers in California and Nevada.