October 18, 2006

More (disturbing) teen drinking facts

Saying `No’

Q: What problems can teens encounter from drinking?

A: For starters, it’s against the law for people younger than 21 to buy or possess alcohol. Beyond that, the brains and bodies of teenagers are still developing. Alcohol use can cause learning problems or lead to alcoholism. People who begin drinking by age 15 are five times more likely to abuse or become dependent on alcohol than those who begin drinking after age 20, according to the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information.

Q: How can I say no to alcohol?

A: It’s easier to refuse than you think. Simply try: "No, thanks." Or "I don’t drink. Or "I’m not interested."

Declining Numbers

Nationally, teens who reported consuming at least one drink of alcohol on one or more of the past 30 days:

2005: 43 percent

2003: 45 percent

2001: 47 percent

1999: 50 percent

1997: 51 percent

1995: 52 percent

– SOURCE: Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 1995-2005

Tips for Not Drinking

- SIGN A CONTRACT. Make a pact with yourself never to drive after drinking alcohol or to ride with someone who has.

- TALK WITH YOUR PARENTS. If your parents don’t bring up the issues of substance use or peer pressure, you should.

- JOIN A GROUP, CONNECT WITH OTHER TEENS. Talk to your school adviser or go online to learn how to start a Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter. For more information, go to www.sadd.org

– SOURCE: Students Against Destructive Decisions (formerly Students Against Driving Drunk)

A Guide To Alcoholism

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