Alcohol

Why Do Young People Drink?

“As kids get older, it’s typical for them to strive for independence, embrace fresh challenges, and explore taking risks. Among these risks, underage drinking stands out as an attraction for many adolescents and teens in their developmental stage. They are often curious to try alcohol but might not fully grasp its impact on their health and behavior. Other motivations for young people to consume alcohol involve:

  • Peer Pressure
  • Increased independence, or desire for it
  • Stress

In addition, most youth have easy access to alcohol. Youth that report drinking alcohol say the most common way they find it is from family members, friends, social sources, and at home.” (1)


Underage Drinking:

“Youth who drink alcohol are more likely to experience:

  • Affect on school performances such as lower grades, higher rate of absences, lower retention rates.
  • Misuse of other substances.
  • Physical and sexual assault
  • Memory problems.   
  • Misuse of other substances.
  • Higher risk for suicides and homicide. 
  • Unwanted, unplanned, and unprotected pregnancy.
  • Alcohol-related car crashes and other unintentional injuries, such as burns, falls, and drowning.
  • Death from alcohol poisoning.
  • Changes in brain development that may have life-long effects.” (2) 

Warning Signs of Underage Drinking:

“Adolescence is a time of change and growth, including behavior changes. These changes usually are a normal part of growing up but sometimes can point to an alcohol problem. Parents and teachers should pay close attention to the following warning signs that may indicate underage drinking:

  • Changes in mood, including anger and irritability.
  • Rebelliousness.
  • Academic and/or behavioral problems.
  • Changing groups of friends.
  • Low energy levels.
  • Finding alcohol among a young person’s things.
  • Less interest in activities and/or care in appearance. 
  • Problems concentrating and/or remembering.
  • Slurred speech. 
  • Coordination problems.” (1)

The Role Parents Play 

“Parents and teachers can play a big role in shaping young people’s attitudes toward drinking. Parents in particular can have either a positive or negative influence. Parents can help their children avoid alcohol problems by:  

  • Talking about the dangers of drinking.
  • Drinking responsibility, if they choose to drink.
  • Serving as positive role models.
  • Not making alcohol available.
  • Getting to know their children’s friends.
  • Having regular conversations about life in general.
  • Connecting with other parents about sending clear messages about the importance of not drinking alcohol.
  • Supervising all parties to make sure there is no alcohol.
  • Encouraging kids to participate in healthy and fun activities that do not involve alcohol.” (1)

Sources:

Source 1: Underage Drinking 

Source 2: Alcohol Use Among Youth in Minnesota


Kanabec County Data from the Minnesota Student Survey:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019 Data

Never Tried Alcohol:                                                Tried Once Or Twice:

11th Grade Female- 52%                                                  11th Grade Female- 21%

9th Grade Female- 53%                                                   9th Grade Female- 20%

11th Grade Male- 60%                                                      11th Grade Male- 9%

9th Grade Male- 62%                                                       9th Grade Male- 18%


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019 Data

0 Days:                                                                            1 or 2 Days:

11th Grade Female- 74%                                                    11th Grade Female- 19%

9th Grade Female- 69%                                                     9th Grade Female- 24%

11th Grade Male- 80%                                                       11th Grade Male- 6%

9th Grade Male- 83%                                                         9th Grade Male- 5%


Resources:

“Talk They Hear You” Alcohol Campaign

SAMHSA’s National Helpline

SMART Recovery

Alcohol CDC Resources

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