With the New Year comes a new bombardment of choices and opportunities for your child. Some of these choices may be engaging in underage drinking. With shows like the Jersey Shore glorifying alcohol consumption flooding television screens this might seem like an endless battle, but LICADD has developed a series of tools to combat this rising epidemic. Simply have you and your child “T.H.I.N.K.”
T- Talk about it. Don’t wait until it is too late; it is never too soon to talk to your child about the risks of underage drinking. Be prepared to listen, your child may know a lot more then you think. They are submersed in a media and a culture that focuses on alcohol. Alcohol is not only in their social settings but also in their books, music and television shows. Don’t be afraid. Be their voice of reason, a simple conversation can give them the tools to say “no.”
H- Have awareness. Did you know that there are several bars in Nassau County that promote the slogan “18 to get busy, 21 to get dizzy” and of those, many of them allow free or reduced admission to those with a college ID ? Did you know that according to SAMHSA more than 67 percent of young people who try alcohol before 15 will try an illicit drug? Or, that in the U.S. an estimated 5,000 children under 21 will die from injuries caused by underage drinking? Did you know that Potsdam’s Alcohol Advertising analysis of prime time television programs shows that alcohol commercials are shown 0.2 per hour, while the portrayal of alcohol is shown five times per hour? While these are surprising statistics, they are the truth. Know your facts, and share them with your child. Hit home, be real, and show them how they are susceptible to underage drinking.
I- Involvement. As a parent be involved in your child’s social life, know their friends, and monitor their social media outlets such as Facebook’s and cell phones. Every town has the bar that serves underage, the number to get a fake Bedford, Massachusetts ID or the store that doesn’t card. While you might not know it, your child does. They can get their hands on alcohol easier then you may think. Monitoring their activity on line and cell phone conversation can help to limit their involvement in underage drinking. Also monitor what they are watching on television, listening to, or reading. Underage drinking is 100% preventable. This openness can develop an open door, where your child is not afraid to talk to you about underage drinking.
N- No means no. Teach your child to be comfortable saying no. Help them to develop confidence and personal boundaries, creating their ability to say no to underage drinking. Develop your child’s sense of right and wrong from an early age; remember it is never too young to start talking to them about prevention. M.T.V.’s Asher Roth fraternity anthem depicts his “rules” for social situations such as “don’t leave the house till the booze gone” don’t be afraid to combat these “rules” with a set of your own. Develop ground rules for underage drinking and stick to them. Teach your child the consequences or repercussions they will face if they engage in underage drinking.
K- Keep an emergency plan. While as a parent you don’t want you child to drink underage, it may happen. Don’t be naïve and believe that your child will avoid all social settings that have underage drinking. Develop a code word, that your child can say or text to you that will tell you they are uncomfortable with the situation they are in. Take that word as your cue to get them out of that situation. Also, give them a safe alternative if they do engage in underage drinking. While this might not be part of the conversation you want to have, it is an important one. Insure them that they can call you no questions asked, and you will pick them up. This can prevent several underage drinking catastrophes.Underage drinking is a rising epidemic that is 100 percent preventable, talking to your child is the most important; just remember to “T.H.I.N.K.” Using these tools to combat underage drinking will limit your child’s involvement in underage drinking ensuring their safety.
If you’ve got some additional questions about talking with your kids, LICADD can help. Please call us 516-747-2606 for free and confidential assistance.Below is a conversation on how to talk to your child about underage drinking! Underage drinking is 100% preventable, and it begins with a talk. Don’t be afraid! It is never too early to talk to your children about prevention. Just “T.H.I.N.K.”
Some surprising statitics on underage drinking include;
Underage Drinking Prevalence
According to the CDC Alcohol is the most used and abused drug among US youth.
According to the 2009 Monitoring the Future Survey 37% of 8th graders have tried alcohol, while a rising 72% of 12 graders have engaged in underage drinking.
According to SAMHSA more than 67% of young people who start drinking before the age of 15 will try an illicit drug.
More than 4 in 10 people who begin drinking before the age of 15 eventually become dependent on alcohol. (SAMHSA)
Underage children between the ages of 12 and 20 make up eleven percent of all alcohol consumption in the U.S. (CDC)
Underage Drinking Risks
In the U.S. an estimated 5,000 individuals under the age of 21 die each year from injuries cause by underage drinking. (SAMHSA)
According to NIAAA Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among youth ages 15 to 20.
The rate of fatal crashes among underage drives under the influence of alcohol is twice that of those 21 and older.
According to the Surgeon General guide on alcohol prevention of those 5,000 children that die due to alcohol related injuries 38% involvemotor vehicle crashes, 32% result from homicides and 6 % result from suicides.
According to College Drinking Prevention 599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are unintentionally injuredunder the influence of alcohol.
According to the 2009 Risk Behavior Survey found that within the last 30 days 42 % drank some form ofalcohol, 24 % engaged in binge drinking, 10% of them drove while under the influence, and 28% percent were passengers in a car whose drive was under the influence. (CDC)
In 2008 approximately 190,000 emergency visits under the age of 21 resulted from underage drinking links and injuries. (CDC)
Sexual Assalt and Violence
97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape. (CDP)
400,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 had unprotected sex. (CDP)
100,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report having been too intoxicated to know if they consented tohaving sex. (CDP)
According to Potsdam’s Alcohol Advertising analysis of prime time television programs show alcohol consumption 0.2 per hour and drinkingportrays appear five times per hour.
30% of all sexual assaults occur when the perpetrator is under the influences of alcohol. (Potsdam)
According to the CASA 60 percent of college women, who have acquired sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS and genital herpes, were under the influence of alcohol at the time they had intercourse.
90 percent of all reported campus rapes occur when alcohol is being used by either the assailant or the victim. (CASA)
The number of women who reported drinking to get drunk more than tripled between 1977 and 1993. (CASA)
95% of violent crime on campus is alcohol-related. (CASA)
Alcohol increases the risk of physical and sexual assault. (CARNY)
Alcohol is a key factor in risky sexual behavior, including unwanted, and unprotected sexual activity, and multiple sex partners. Thus,resulting in the risk of unplanned pregnancy and contracting sexually transmitted diseases. (CARNY)
Taken from NIAAA, “research has associated adolescent alcohol use with high–risk sex. The consequences ofhigh–risk sex also are common in this age group, particularly unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. According to a recent study, the link between high–risk sex and drinking is affected by the quantity of alcohol consumed. The probability of sexual intercourse is increased by drinking amounts of alcohol sufficient to impair judgment, but decreased by drinking heavier amounts that result in feelings of nausea, passing out, or mental confusion.”