Alcohol (aka: booze, brew, hooch, moonshine, and drink) is a depressant derived from the natural fermentation of fruits, vegetables and grains. These are brewed and distilled into a wide range of beverages with various alcohol contents.
Alcohol travels through your bloodstream and damages your brain, stomach, liver, kidneys and muscles. As a teenager, your body is still developing, so damage done to it now will affect the rest of your life. In addition, statistics show that more teens are killed by alcohol than by all illegal drugs combined. Learn to prevent underage drinking today!
Parents are the first line of prevention when it comes to alcohol and underage drinking awareness. As a parent, you hold tremendous influence over whether your child decides to drink or not. Parents who do not discourage underage drinking may have an indirect influence on their children's alcohol use as well. Parents should be clear to their youth that they disapprove of underage drinking and should find opportunities to discuss the dangers of alcohol and underage drinking.
Teen brains are more vulnerable to alcohol. Research shows that the teen brain doesn’t fully develop until 25. Alcohol can alter this development, potentially affecting brain structure and function.
If you choose to drink, model responsible drinking behavior to your child. A child with a parent who binge drinks is much more likely to binge drink than a child whose parents do not. Try to avoid sending any unintended messages — find ways to celebrate and relax without alcohol.
In addition, don't make alcohol available to your child and their friends. Supervise any parties that take place in your home and make sure teens understand that your home is a zero tolerance zone — you don't allow any underage drinking. Communicate clear expectations and rules for when your teen goes out with friends or may be in a setting where alcohol could be present. Above all, discuss the negative effects of alcohol and what it means in terms of mental and physical health, safety and making good decisions. Remember, drinking under 21 comes at a cost.
In Barry County, our task force works with local law enforcement officers and youth under 21 to ensure that local stores are not selling alcohol to minors. Data shows underage drinkers try to purchase alcohol from local retailers versus non-local retailers. Although, we are proud to say that our current prevention techniques are working, presently, 93% of vendors in Barry County DO NOT sell alcohol to minors. In addition, our task force works with local retailers to provide them with TIPS® training.