Best Strategies for Parents to Prevent Underage Drinking

underage drinking

Although teenage drinking has declined in recent years, underage drinking is still fairly commonplace in America today. A 2016 Monitoring the Future survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found the following high school drinking statistics: roughly 17% of eighth graders, 38% of tenth-graders, and 56% of twelfth graders consumed alcohol in the past year. While these numbers are lower than in past years, they are still high considering that alcohol consumption is illegal for all of these age groups. Such high levels can be attributed to easy access to alcohol; since it is legal for adults over the age of 21, minors with an older friend or inattentive parents can usually find alcohol if they want to.  Some parents even accept underage drinking as a right-of-passage and do not mind or worry about it. Some parents even go so far as to purchase alcohol for their teens, hoping that if they drink at home, with some level of adult supervision, they will be safer. However, teens are typically not responsible enough to handle the effects of alcohol, leading to tragic consequences.

The Dangers of Underage Drinking

Underage drinking is a problem because teens lack the maturity to drink responsibly. Physically, their young bodies cannot handle the alcohol, and they become intoxicated quickly. Mentally, teens are not mature enough to make good decisions concerning alcohol. With poor self-monitoring skills, they may quickly drink too much and make impulsive, irresponsible decisions about whether or not to drive, have sex, or engage in reckless behavior such as swimming, diving, or daring each other to complete outlandish stunts. These types of behaviors can lead to injury and death. In addition, underage drinking increases the chances of abusing alcohol as an adult. According to the following teenage drinking death statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), excessive drinking leads to more than 4,300 deaths of underage youth each year, including:

  • 1,580 motor vehicle deaths
  • 1,269 homicides
  • 245 poisoning, burns, falls, or drownings
  • 492 suicides

The consequences of underage drinking are not always deadly but are still quite severe. According to the CDC, teens who drink are more likely to experience:

  • Problems in school, such as frequent absences or poor grades
  • Social problems, such as fighting and lack of participation in activities
  • Poor health, such as hangovers, illness, and disruption of normal growth
  • Higher risk of physical and sexual assault
  • Memory problems
  • Other substance abuse
  • Changes in brain development that may be lifelong
  • Unwanted, unplanned, and unprotected sexual activity

How to Prevent Underage Drinking

The most important step in preventing teenage alcohol-related deaths is parental involvement, followed by community support, including the schools, extracurricular groups and activities, and governmental policies. Parents can help their teens by:

  • Establishing solid lines of communication with their children
  • Listening and making their teens feel comfortable
  • Providing consistent discipline and clear expectations
  • Monitoring the teen’s friendships and activities
  • Strengthening family bonds

Schools can help by:

  • Providing developmentally appropriate information about drugs and alcohol
  • Teaching skills to resist peer pressure

Extracurricular programs, which may or may not be affiliated with the school, can:

  • Provide positive adult role models
  • Provide supervised activities
  • Provide opportunities for teen leadership

Policies made by the community and the government can impact teen drinking by:

  • Maintaining a minimum drinking age of 21
  • Imposing excise taxes on alcohol
  • Limiting availability of alcohol to minors

Strong parental involvement goes a long way toward preventing underage drinking. If you are a parent concerned about your teen’s drinking habits, we can help. Call our toll free number today.

What is Alcoholism and How Does it Affect You?


There is always a lot of talk about drug addiction, and rightly so. Drug addiction is one of the single biggest problems in this nation, one of which needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. Actually, drug addiction is currently one of the single biggest health-related problems that this country faces. It is also a huge socio-economic problem too. But why do we rarely hear about alcoholism, alcohol abuse, and alcohol addiction?

This is a whole different problem here. Alcohol addiction is severely underreported, but it is actually a problem that causes more trouble and worry than drug addiction does, believe it or not. To understand this problem a little bit better, take a look at the following statistics to get a better idea of just how serious alcohol abuse and addiction really is in this country, (Statistics brought to you by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism).

  • Alcohol abuse kills about sixty-thousand to eighty-thousand Americans each and every year. Drug addiction and drug abuse, while a devastating problem and a socioeconomic crisis of its own, only kills about forty-thousand Americans each and every year.
  • Alcohol addiction and alcohol abuse are a lot more difficult to get rid of than most drug addictions. The true problem is that it is totally legal to consume alcohol. In fact, it is totally legal to consume as much alcohol as you want in the confines of your own home. There is no limit to it. Drugs are illegal and are therefore harder to use, get, keep, and continue to use.
  • Alcohol is more commonly accepted in society, even with the increase in acceptance of drugs. It’s harder to fight a substance that everyone thinks is commonplace.


Alcohol is a dangerous substance that causes a lot of problems and a lot of worries for a lot of people. Alcoholism and alcohol abuse, in general, is a dangerous substance, one of which affects the body severely. Alcohol addiction has now risen to a point of actually being more severe and more concerning than drugs are, and this increase in the problem has led tens of thousands of alcohol addicts and hundreds of thousands of their family members to become very concerned and worried indeed.

The effects of alcohol are often understated and swept under the rug, partially because alcohol is such a big industry and such a huge cash-flow for thousands of Americans. So what is alcoholism, and what are the effects of it?

Alcoholism is the addiction to alcohol or the continuous, compulsive use of alcohol in spite of reasons not to. Alcohol addiction is truly an addiction. A person cannot stop drinking the stuff, no matter what. Alcohol addiction is an ongoing habit, wherein a person will compulsively drink alcohol over and over again, year after year, either until they kill themselves with it, or until they get help.

The effects of alcohol could be an entire essay in and of itself.  For a quick look at some of the effects, consider the following:

  • Slower reaction time
  • Reduction in brain activity
  • Bad reflexes
  • Lower inhibition
  • Having respiratory issues
  • Vision blurry
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Violent tendencies
  • Bad decisions

If you are seeking help for yourself or a loved one struggling with an alcohol addiction, call Choices Recovery today. We can be reached at 1-844-288-9127. Addiction is tough and a difficult problem to say the least, but it does not have to be the end of it all. Call today.

Why Detox Can Start the Alcohol Recovery Process


The more a person drinks, the more tolerant to alcohol the body becomes and the more dependent the brain may be on its interference. When alcohol’s effects wear off, someone who is dependent on it may suffer from withdrawal symptoms that can range from mild to life-threatening.

The first step in getting into recovery is to go through the detox process. Depending on how bad a person is abusing alcohol, can determine how their detox will go. A lot of people fear this first step. They are afraid of going through withdrawal, that can be extremely hard and even deadly.

Starting the Detox Process

Detox is important to get all the alcohol or possible substances out of a person’s body. The process of detoxification from alcohol can be far more intense than detoxification from substances. The process can begin as soon as up to two hours after a person’s last drink. Many of the withdrawal symptoms can last for several days, but it’s common for some symptoms to linger for as long as two weeks.

Stages and Symptoms of Withdrawal

Withdrawal can be broken down into three stages of severity:

  • Stage 1 (mild): anxiety, insomnia, nausea, abdominal pain and/or vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue, tremors, depression, foggy thinking, mood swings, and heart palpitations
  • Stage 2 (moderate): increased blood pressure, body temperature and respiration, irregular heart rate, mental confusion, sweating, irritability, and heightened mood disturbances
  • Stage 3 (severe/delirium tremens): hallucinations, fever, seizures, severe confusion, and agitation

Alcohol withdrawal is highly individual. It is influenced by several factors. Length of time drinking, the amount consumed each time, medical history, presence of co-occurring mental health disorder, family history of addiction, childhood trauma, and stress levels. The use of other drugs in conjunction with alcohol can also influence withdrawal and increase the potential dangers and side effects. The more dependent on alcohol a person is, the more likely the person is to experience more severe withdrawal symptoms. Each person may not go through every stage of withdrawal, therefore.

It is not safe to go through the detox process at home. Due to the withdrawal symptoms being so sever medical detox in a facility will not only help keep you comfortable and safe, but can save your life.

Why Detox Can Start the Alcohol Recovery Process

To get into recovery for any addiction whether it be alcoholism or substance abuse detox is a very important step because the body needs to become healthy again. Detoxing the body from all the things that were harmful to it so it can begin to become healthy again. The brain will begin to become healthy as well and at this point a person can get a clear mind to focus on their recovery.

Recovery isn’t just about quitting the abuse of alcohol to the body and brain. Going into recovery you will tackle many things to help you live a long life of recovery. Once detox is completed one can already feel better and think straight on what they need to, to be able to continue to live in recovery.

Addiction can cause a person to lose many things in their lives. Family, Friends, and responsibilities are all things that when a person suffers from addiction they begin to care less about and can start to lose. Getting through detox and beginning the journey of recovery, they will begin to see those things again that mattered the most and with a clear mind can begin repairing the pieces that were broken when their addiction took over their life.

If you or someone you love may be suffering from addiction, do not hesitate to call for help today. Get the recovery process going to build a new successful life!