Do you have a social drinking plan?
1. HAVE A DESIGNATED DRIVER TO GET YOU HOME. NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE!
2. SET A REALISTIC GOAL FOR YOUR ALCOHOL USE. HOW MUCH WILL YOU DRINK AND STILL BE ABLE TO FUNCTION?
3. ALTERNATE ALCOHOLIC AND NON-ALCOHOLIC DRINKS.
4. EAT WHEN YOU DRINK.
5. AGREE TO HELP EACH OTHER MAKE AND KEEP TO THE PLAN.
Binge on the truth
It’s no secret that underage and binge drinking are hazardous to not only your health but also to the well-being of anyone around you. Get the facts here on the dangers and consequences of underage and excessive drinking. The more you know, the more you’ll be able to resist peer pressure and stay safe.
what is alcohol?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines alcohol as an intoxicating ingredient found in beer, wine, and liquor. It is produced by the fermentation of yeast, sugars, and starches. Alcohol affects every organ in the body and is a central nervous system depressant that is rapidly absorbed from the stomach and small intestine into the bloodstream. The intensity of the effect of alcohol on the body is directly related to the amount consumed.
What is considered a standard alcohol drink?
While serving sizes can vary, a standard drink contains roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol. This is equal to about 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, and just half of a single ounce of distilled spirits.
what are the consequences of drinking alcohol?
There is a long list of dangerous outcomes from alcohol consumption, especially from excessive underage drinking. Below are just a few:
• Disruption to the structure and function of still-developing brains
• Increased risk of physical and sexual assault
• Increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies
• Links to illicit drug use and tobacco use
• Higher likelihood of alcohol dependence later in life
• Development of serious health problems such as stroke, heart and liver disease, and various cancers.
• Behavior that threatens the safety of innocent individuals (drunk driving, violence toward others)
What are the risks of underage drinking?
There is a long list of risks associated with underage and binge drinking to one’s health and physical/social development:
• Your brain is still developing during your teen years. Alcohol consumption can impede brain development, leading to impaired memory, coordination, and motor skills.
• Drinking and driving continue to be the #1 cause of death among people 15 to 24.
• Teenagers who regularly abuse alcohol are at increased risk of using tobacco and drugs.
• Binge drinkers are EIGHT TIMES more likely than others to develop problems in school and to damage property.
• Teenage girls who drink are more likely to have unprotected sex than girls who don’t, and are at significant risk of becoming pregnant and/or contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
• It’s illegal—there are legal consequences to drinking before you turn 21.
How widespread is underage drinking?
Underage and binge drinking is rampant among teens today. Here are some eyeopening facts:
• 1 in 6 teens binge drinks (almost 17%)—yet only 1% of parents believe their teen binge drinks.
• Teens aged 12–20 drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in the U.S.
• In the past 30 days, over 30% of high school students drank some amount of alcohol
• In the past 30 days, 10% of 8th graders drank some amount of alcohol.
• Approximately 4,300 underage deaths are caused every year by excessive drinking.
What are the warning signs?
There are numerous warning signs that may indicate the possibility of an alcohol problem, especially if some happen suddenly or are extreme in nature. If several of the following occur at the same time, immediate help should be sought.
• School problems, poor attendance, low grades, and/or recent disciplinary action
• Rebelling against family rules
• Switching friends, along with a reluctance to let you get to know the new friends
• Sloppy appearance
• A lack of involvement in former interests
• Mood changes, flare-ups, irritability, and defensiveness
• A “nothing matters” attitude
• Memory lapses
• Poor concentration
• Low energy
• Bloodshot eyes
• Lack of coordination
• Slurred speech
How do I resist peer pressure?
1. Say “No” like you mean it. Make eye contact with the person pressuring you and say “NO” firmly. The more definitive you are in your refusal, the less people will bother you.
2. Back up a “No” with a positive statement Say something like, “Thanks, but I’m fine right now,” or “I’m okay—I’m having fun anyway.” You don’t need to get defensive, provide a lengthy explanation, or call
others out on their drinking.
3. Be repetitive. Don’t hesitate to state your position over and over again if people continue to pressure you. Your decision not to drink is yours alone, and isn’t a statement or judgment on anyone else’s behavior.
4. Be your own best friend. Remind yourself every now and then that you’re special and block any negative thoughts about needing to do what others do just so that you can fit in. If your friendships are dependent on doing things you don’t want to do, then seek other friends.
5. Find ways to excel. Challenge yourself to do your best. Focus your attention on your personal goals instead of the goals of a group.
How can I get help?
You can dial 2-1-1 to access a wide range of health and human services, including those that can connect you directly to agencies and organizations specializing in underage alcohol and substance abuse situations.