Alcohol and Youth Toolkit
Youth who use alcohol are at a much greater risk for problems related to behavior, juvenile delinquency, school performance, unintentional injury, and future substance dependence (alcoholism).
The Case for Talking about Alcohol
Every day students are bombarded with messages about alcohol. The information comes from many different sources: school, parents, friends, television, music, and magazines. Sometimes there is so much information, it’s hard for students to figure out what is true and what is not. As students face the decision of whether to drink or not, knowing all the facts can steer them in the right direction. Choosing not to drink may be a difficult decision, but it is the safest and healthiest decision to make. Underage drinkers risk not only their own health and well-being, they can also hurt their family, friends, and their future.
What Can Alcohol Use Lead to?
- Violence—Alcohol clouds judgement and reasonable thinking, sometimes leading to violence. A significant proportion of violent crimes among students, including rape, robbery and assault, have been shown to involve alcohol. A survey of college administrators indicates that more than half of campus incidents, ranging from violent behavior to property damage, were directly related to alcohol use.
- Other injuries—Because alcohol impairs the coordination and judgement necessary for everyday activities, it is involved in a high percentage of falls, drownings, burns, other injuries, and accidental deaths.
- Emotional Problems—Alcohol makes emotions stronger. Negative feelings, including stress, loneliness, and hopelessness often become worse when people drink alcohol. Emotionally troubled youth who drink heavily are at a higher risk for attempted suicide.
- Stress—Drinking alcohol to deal with pressures from parents, teachers, friends, coaches, brothers, and sisters only increases the stress.
- Overdose—Consuming too much alcohol over a short period of time can cause death from alcohol poisoning.
- Health Issues—Alcohol clouds judgement which can lead to risky sexual behavior, sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancy, or HIV/AIDS.
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