Underage drinking is one of the biggest issues facing parents today. Teens in today’s society are being exposed to alcohol more and more frequently. Because being a teenager is so difficult, the pressures of being a teen can cause many of them to try drinking. Alcohol poisoning, fatal car accidents, and other tragedies happen to teens in America every day, and many parents are terrified.
So what are the facts about alcoholism and teenagers? Are teenagers in danger of developing alcoholism? How many teenagers really are drinking in America anyway?
Currently, it is estimated that there are 11 million underage drinkers in America according to the Surgeon General. This is a shocking number that is very worrisome for many parents of teens. Many teens are experiencing horrible consequences of underage drinking including car accidents as a result of drinking, alcohol poisoning as a result of binge drinking, brain damage as a result of drinking while the teenage brain is still developing, and an increased risk for sexual assault.
So do you really have to worry about alcoholism in your teenager? One of the best things to think about to answer this question is family history. Does alcoholism run in your family? Unfortunately, teen drinkers that have a family history of alcoholism will be more likely to develop alcoholism than those who do have a family history of the disease but do not drink as teenagers.
So how can you get your teen to stop drinking? As a parent, the best thing you can do is educate your teen on the dangers of underage drinking. Have an open and honest conversation with your teen is a great way to get everything out in the open so that he or she will feel free to talk to you about it. It’s not only important that you educate and monitor your teen’s activity but that you also have open conversations with your teen.