Alcohol is the most widely used substance among America’s teens and young adults, according to Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), and parents can do things to keep their teens and young adults safe, starting with understanding the risk factors.
The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids wants parents to know the following risk factors when considering helping their teens and young adults.
- Teen brains are more vulnerable to alcohol. Research shows that the teen brain does not fully develop until age 25. Alcohol can alter this development, potentially affecting brain structure and function.
- Underage drinking increases the risk of alcohol problems later in life. Research shows that people who start drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to meet the criteria for alcohol dependence at some point in their lives.
- Mixing alcohol and marijuana is dangerous and can significantly impair judgment. The level of intoxication and secondary effects experienced can be unpredictable.
- Mixing alcohol and prescription medicine is especially dangerous. It can cause nausea and vomiting, headaches, drowsiness, fainting and loss of coordination, and it puts a person at risk for internal bleeding, heart problems, and breathing difficulties.
DrugFree.org offers some suggestions for parents:
- Model responsible drinking behavior if you, as an adult, choose to drink.
- Find ways to celebrate and relax without alcohol.
- Do not make alcohol available to your teen and their friends.
- Children between the ages of 11 and 14 see approximately 1,000 alcohol commercials every year. Discuss what you see and put context around the messaging.
- Supervise any home parties to be sure there is no alcohol.
- Know where your child is socializing. Call the parents in advance to verify the occasion, location, and supervision plans. Should it be inappropriate, keep your child at home.
- Assure your child that he/she can call you to be picked up whenever needed.
- Create a contract establishing rules about drugs and alcohol.
There will be times when teens may be pressured by their peers. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) suggests that parents and teens have prepared alternative activities and strategies to make it easier to say no.
“We at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. see the devastation and tragedy that happens when young people drink and drive. This activity is preventable,” said Randall Spivey, Hurt by Drunk Driver Attorney. “Should you or a loved one be injured in an accident, we are available 24/7 to assist you.”
Hurt By Drunk Driver Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll-free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and Collier County 239.793.7748.