Underage Alcohol Use: An Introduction

Helping kids steer clear of alcohol involves more than simply warning them of the dangers; it involves helping them feel safe, supported, and free to talk about anything on their minds. It also requires building a strong relationship with your children and nurturing their personal values and skills to help them make smart decisions.

Did You Know?

  • By the time they graduate from high school, half of all teenagers report drinking alcohol regularly. One-third report binge drinking.

  • The greatest increase in alcohol usage occurs between grades 6 and 10

  • Fifty-five percent of middle and high school students say it is against their values to drink alcohol while they are teenagers.1

Even though it may not seem like it, you are the strongest influence in your child’s life. Your words and actions concerning alcohol use make a big difference in the choices they make now and when they're adults. Chances are you won't be there to guide them through every encounter with alcohol. But you can do a lot "behind the scenes" to help them stay healthy, strong, and safe.

1. Developmental Assets: A Profile of Your Youth (Minneapolis, MN: Search Institute, 2005), 2003 weighted aggregate dataset, unpublished report.




good article, but I think there should be information about alcohol not be taboo. I firmly believe that if something is not taboo, it is not nearly as inviting to participate and/or partake in.


I will use this when talking to my 9th grader.


I rate this article from being in 8th grade.It will soon turned into a report for kids becoming 9th graders.


So much depends on the parent-teen relationship and on parent modeling. If the parent(s) does not drink alcohol or drinks in moderation, and if there is generally good, open communcation between the parent and teen, there is a good chance that the teen will not drink or use drugs.
The other important factor is non-using friends.