This April, during Alcohol Awareness Month, Destinations for Teens encourages you to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of excessive drinking. If you are drinking too much, you can improve your health by cutting back or quitting. For those under 21, taking even one drink is illegal and can have adverse consequences on the brain. Despite this, some teens still choose to drink alcohol for various reasons—out of boredom or curiosity, to cope with life’s problems, and even because of peer pressure. Using Alcohol Awareness Month to learn more about the effects of alcohol can help teens stop drinking.
Facts About Underage Drinking in the United States
Because alcohol is legal and ubiquitous in the U.S., it is a frequently abused substance. Adults routinely binge drink, which is a form of alcohol abuse and contributes to a vastly increased risk of developing an alcohol use disorder or addiction. They also tend to ignore the impact their drinking has on the young people around them. The adolescent body is still developing and growing, which makes the use of alcohol something that can seriously hamper and harm a person’s natural, healthy growth both physically and mentally. Consider the following facts and statistics regarding underage drinking, and you’ll see that Alcohol Awareness Month is greatly needed:
- Teens who start drinking before age 15 are six times more likely to have alcohol problems later than those who start drinking at age 21 or older.
- 35% of 15-year-olds have consumed alcohol in their lifetime
- 10% of eighth-graders drank some amount of alcohol in the past 30 days
- 35% of high school students drank some amount of alcohol in the past 30 days
- 68% of 12th graders have tried alcohol at least once
- 8.7 million people aged 12–20 consumed alcohol in the past month
- People aged 12–20 drink 11% of all alcohol consumed
- 52% of 10th graders believe it’s easy to obtain alcohol
Why Alcohol Addiction Treatment Programs for Teens Are Important
Teenage drinking does not just harm the person drinking. Adolescent drinkers often get behind the wheel after they drink. Underage drinking and driving facts include:
- Teens drink and drive approximately 2.4 million times a month
- One in five teen drivers involved in fatal crashes have alcohol in their system
- 85% of high schoolers who drink and drive say they binge drank
- In the past 30 days, 22% of high schoolers rode with a driver who’d been drinking
- Kids who start drinking young are seven times more likely to be in an alcohol-related crash
Perhaps the easiest way to curb, reduce, or eliminate these numbers is to raise awareness in adolescents and adults about the impact of drinking. The purpose of Alcohol Awareness Month is to make it clear to everyone that underage drinking is having an immediate effect on the lives of young people. It also looks to prompt adults into revising their relationship with alcohol consumption so they can model healthy, positive behaviors.
Other Risks of Teenage Drinking
There are numerous dangers to both the individual and those around them when they abuse alcohol. For teens, alcohol abuse can lead to issues like:
- Mental health problems
- Severe injury or other disabilities
- Abuse of other drugs
- Unplanned pregnancy
- Social difficulties
- Being arrested
- Being victims of physical or sexual assault
Helping teens and parents stay educated while limiting the use of alcohol can have a positive impact on a teen’s physical and emotional well-being. By participating in Alcohol Awareness Month, teens and adults can turn back the damage done by alcohol abuse.
Does Your Teen Have a Drinking Problem?
The risks associated with a teenage drinking problem are clearly severe. During Alcohol Awareness Month 2022, learn the signs of an underage drinking problem to help your teen get back on track. Some indicators you might notice include:
- Lack of energy
- Bursts of anger
- A sudden drop in grades
- Behavioral issues in or out of school
- Changes in their friend group
- Speech and coordination problems
- Finding or smelling alcohol on them
If you notice one or more of these signs with your teen, it may be time to step in and help them get the assistance they need before it is too late. Alcohol addiction treatment programs can be an opportunity to get them enrolled in a program that can change their life for the better, rather than continuing on the destructive path of addiction.
Reach Out to Destinations for Teens to Learn More
Destinations for Teens offers education in the community on various topics of mental health and substance use. We offer a wide range of addiction treatment programs and a broad selection of therapies designed to meet the specific needs of each of our teens. Some of our programs include:
- Art therapy
- Dance movement therapy
- Family therapy
- Meditation therapy
- Mindfulness therapy
- Music therapy
- Surf therapy
- Yoga therapy
If you know a teen is struggling with alcohol abuse, you can contact our admissions by calling 877.466.0620 for an assessment or resources.