Health Tip: Help Prevent Underage Drinking

A young person's decision to drink alcohol may be related to the stress of trying to fit in with a particular crowd, the desire to get good grades or adjusting to a new school.

Keeping open lines of communication with your child or teen may help prevent underage drinking.

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration suggests:

  • Having short, frequent discussions with your child, starting at an early age.
  • Talking often about your child's concerns can help build an open, trusting relationship and make it easier to talk about things like alcohol.
  • Lots of little talks are more effective than one "big talk."
  • When talking about alcohol, make your views and rules clear and honest.
  • As children get older, adjust the conversation to make it more age-appropriate.
  • Rather than lecturing your child, allow him or her to ask questions and express concerns.
  • Set a good example for your child by drinking in moderation and never driving after you have been drinking.

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