Alcohol continues to be the #1 misused substance by our youth. This page is meant to provide resources and information to learn, and provide talking points about it.
Why is underage drinking prevention important to us? We can about our youth and want them to understand the risks that come with experimenting with alcohol, these are the things the media is not going to tell them.
There are risks to your health, happiness and wellbeing that can include:
- Alcohol poisoning from over drinking
- Problems with the law
- Conflict with friends and family
- Poor grades and performance in school
- Car crashes resulting in injury or death
- Falls, drowning, and other accidents
- Violence and homicide
- Being a victim of violent crime
- Risky Sexual Behavior, that can lead to: Sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancy or sexual assault or rape
- Brain, kidney, and liver damage long-term
Some of the things that influence underage drinking:
- Parents or other adults alcohol use - children need trusted adults in their lives who model healthy behaviors.
- Peer pressure or use
- Availability or access to alcohol
- Lack of awareness to the risks and dangers
Please use the resources below to learn more about this as well as resources if you know of a teen in need of support or treatment.
Parents and other adults, know the NH Party Host Liability Law
Ten Prevention Tips to use when talking with Youth
Here are ten great talking points provided by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence:
- Don’t Be Afraid to Say No: Sometimes, our fear of negative reaction from our friends, or others we don’t even know, keeps us from doing what we know is right. Real simple, it may seem like “everyone is doing it,” but they are not.
- Don’t let someone else make your decisions for you. If someone is pressuring you to do something that’s not right for you, you have the right to say no, the right not to give a reason why, and the right to just walk away.
- Connect With Your Friends and Avoid Negative Peer Pressure: Pay attention to who you are hanging out with. If you are hanging out with a group in which the majority of kids are drinking alcohol or using drugs to get high, you may want to think about making some new friends. You may be headed toward an alcohol and drug problem if you continue to hang around others who routinely drink alcohol, smoke marijuana, abuse prescription drugs or use illegal drugs. You don’t have to go along to get along.
- Make Connections with Your Parents or Other Adults: As you grow up, having people you can rely on, people you can talk to about life, life’s challenges and your decisions about alcohol and drugs, is very important. The opportunity to benefit from someone else’s life experiences can help put things in perspective and can be invaluable.
- Enjoy Life and Do What You Love – Don’t Add Alcohol and Drugs: Learn how to enjoy life and the people in your life, without adding alcohol or drugs. Alcohol and drugs can change who you are, limit your potential and complicate your life. Too often, “I’m bored” is just an excuse. Get out and get active in school and community activities such as music, sports, arts or a part-time job. Giving back as a volunteer is a great way to gain perspective on life.
- Follow the Family Rules about Alcohol and Drugs: As you grow up and want to assume more control over your life, having the trust and respect of your parents is very important. Don’t let alcohol and drugs come between you and your parents. Talking with mom and dad about alcohol and drugs can be very helpful.
- Get Educated about Alcohol and Drugs: You cannot rely on the myths and misconceptions that are out there floating around among your friends and on the internet. Your ability to make the right decisions includes getting educated. Visit Learn About Alcohol and Learn About Drugs. And, as you learn, share what you are learning with your friends and your family.
- Be a Role Model and Set a Positive Example: Don’t forget, what you do is more important than what you say! You are setting the foundation and direction for your life; where are you headed?
- Plan Ahead: As you make plans for the party or going out with friends you need to plan ahead. You need to protect yourself and be smart. Don’t become a victim of someone else’s alcohol or drug use. Make sure that there is someone you can call, day or night, no matter what, if you need them. And, do the same for your friends.
- Speak Out/Speak Up/Take Control: Take responsibility for your life, your health and your safety. Speak up about what alcohol and drugs are doing to your friends, your community and encourage others to do the same.
Alcohol and Athletics: Not a Winning Mix
ADDITIONAL LINKS FOR RESOURCES
Warning Signs of Alcoholism - Alcohol Help