by ALCAP | Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Underage drinking is often a problem that is over-looked in our effort to deal with the reality of drugs yet it impacts millions of teenagers. The use of alcohol among young people is pervasive: 68 percent of all students in grades 7-12 have had at least one alcoholic drink, and 51 percent (or 12.6 million) have had at least one drink within the past year. Eight million (or 38 percent) of all students in junior and senior high school drink alcohol weekly. About nine of every ten high school seniors have tried alcohol, and nearly six out of ten are regular users of alcohol.
Recent data indicate that high school seniors who use alcohol are more likely than non-using peers to approve all other drug use, downplay risks, and report their parents and friends as being more accepting of all other drug use. These practices and attitudes did not spring into being with high school seniority. In fact, many of the most severe users of alcohol probably never even reached their senior high school year in order to be a part of these alarming statistics.
Most drinking teens, compared with non-drinking peers, have:
1. A greater chance of not learning many of the emotional and social skills necessary for a safe and productive life.
2. A greater chance of causing an accident or injury to themselves or others.
3. A tendency to experiment with alcohol at an early age and have a greater chance of becoming heavy drinkers during middle and late teens.
4. A greater chance of getting into trouble with parents, friends and teachers.
5. A greater likelihood of using other drugs, such as marijuana and tobacco.
6. A greater chance of engaging in sexual behavior that can put them at risk of developing sexually transmitted diseases.
Because of the above information and the extreme importance of reaching the teenage population of our nation let us seek to advocate a united message this year that is exciting, dramatic, engaging and understandable. In so doing let us include values and character – qualities that last a life time. Let’s make our message simple, positive and clear. Life is better without alcohol.