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Future Health

Early Prevention is Key for Reducing Alcohol Abuse in Teens

May 15, 2013 

An estimated 10 million adolescents under the age of 10 reported drinking in the past month, a frightening statistic that should not be taken lightly. Peer pressure on kids to drink has increased over the past decade; sources are now saying that children try their first drink as early as 9 years old. 
Earlier prevention and detection is more important than ever. Young teens all across the country are getting caught up with alcohol and the accidents that frequently come with it. Here are some statistics that often pass under the radar of the media:
- 42% of high school students reported drinking in the past month
- 24% reported binge drinking
- 70% of high school seniors report that they have tried alcohol
- 33% of 8th graders report that they have had an alcoholic drink
- 5,000 individuals under 21 die each year from alcohol-related incidents
Source: SAMHSA monitoring the future study
Research shows that children who drank before the age of 15 were five times more likely to develop a problem with alcohol than those who waited until they were 21. Beginning a dialogue with your child even earlier than previously thought may be more effective at reducing the chance for them to succumb to peer pressure and try their first drink when they are far too young.
Studies also show that children do hear what parents are saying, which puts even more importance on finding the right time to start a conversation with your child. It could save their life. 
Learn more about how to talk to your child about alcohol by clicking here.