Underage Drinking

 

Underage drinkingThis may seem an old-fashioned notion – locking a liquor cabinet. You may think to yourself that your children are, “good kids!” Well, “good kids,” drink, too. These are serious and tough subjects to discuss, but they are critical in aiding your children to stay away from alcohol Help them to know, IF they do try it, they can call you for help, rather than put themselves in a dangerous situation, or remain in one. According to a report on the Centers for Disease Control website, more kids drink alcohol than smoke cigarettes or do illicit drugs. The statistics cover kids ranging in age from 12 to 20. They address the fact that some kids use it as an escape from problems at home or at school. Some use it as a means to fit in with a peer group. Some use it to quiet the pains of mental illness or depression. In some cases, it is used as weapon to control another’s actions. For example, getting boys and girls drunk so that someone, or several someones, can have their way with the incapacitated person. It affects grades in school, behavior at home, increases aggression, and wreaks havoc on the brain.

12 years of age is devastatingly young to drink. Early stage drinking can cause slowing in brain development and stunt growth. It can also lead to an early demise of the human liver. Cirrhosis of the Liver is an irreversible disease and this disease is linked directly to the consistent use or binge consumption of alcohol. It may seem that 20 is old enough. However, in every state in our Union, the legal drinking age is 21. Period. Discouraging underage drinking, especially in your own home, is essential. You would not only be setting a very bad example by allowing them to drink, you would be breaking the law. Allowing their friends to drink in your house could cost you your house. Binge drinking in college is a huge concern for parents, and some think that keeping booze from their kids before they go to college will make them more likely to drink. In fact, the opposite is quite true. Studies have show that children raised with a moral compass and those taught to follow the rules are LESS likely to engage in illegal activities.

Keeping alcohol away from kids in your home is a great way to start. Always, always, always lock your liquor away from your kids. There are some jurisdictions that will prosecute parents if their own children, and especially visiting children, gain access to booze. It can lead to physical danger, driving danger, and in some cases, has proven lethal in those arenas. There are still parents who will think they know what is best for their child, and a beer at home is OK. From a legal perspective, there is no middle ground; IT IS 100% ILLEGAL ON EVERY SINGLE LEVEL. This topic is uncomfortable and very divisive. For an eye-full of the statistics, the programs, and some great suggestions, please read the attached article written by the experts at the CDC.

If you need some more ideas on restricting access to the alcohol in your house, here are a few to stop teenage drinking.

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