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Education for Young Adults & Youth2023-11-14T13:36:34-05:00

How To Avoid Underage Drinking

Help For Young Adults, Teenagers, And Children

What Does the
Data Say?

Over the past 30 years, the number of young people choosing not to drink alcoholic beverages before the age of 21 has been in steady decline, with less than one in five teens reporting to have consumed alcohol in the past 30 days. Despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the percentage of junior high and high school students in the U.S. choosing to drink alcohol has remained relatively steady, as well.

This is good news! Truth is, avoiding underage drinking is possible – with help.

Who Is Drinking Alcohol?

Figuring out how to dodge awkward situations or navigate parties when you don’t want to drink alcohol can make you feel isolated or anxious. Sometimes it may seem like everyone is drinking, but choosing to drink alcohol is a personal decision.

The key to avoiding underage drinking is surrounding yourself with people and activities that support your choice not to drink alcoholic beverages. Find inspiration by reading our blog posts – we cover topics like things to do instead of drinking, how to navigate prom safely, legal consequences for underage drinking, and more.

Have you read our blog?

Why Shouldn’t You Drink Alcohol?

When you drink alcohol, it’s absorbed into your bloodstream and can affect the development of your brain and central nervous system (which control virtually all body functions). It can impact impulse control, decision-making, and response time. Intoxication from alcoholic beverages can impair judgement, lose coordination, and slur your speech. Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol can cause vomiting, unconsciousness, difficulty breathing, dangerously low blood sugar, seizures, and even death.

The legal age to buy and consume alcohol in the United States is 21. Therefore, underage drinking can result in legal issues, as well as impact your physical and mental health. Teenagers who drink alcohol often have problems in school, and for athletes, their performance can be affected. In general, underage drinking puts your health at risk. Teens who drink alcohol are more likely to have unsafe, unprotected sex, and alcohol greatly increases the potential for teenagers to be involved in an auto accident, homicide, or suicide.

How Can You Avoid Underage Drinking?

The best way to prevent an uncomfortable situation is to avoid it altogether… but that’s not always possible. The best-laid plans falling through can lead to opportunity, however! If you do find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, knowing how you will handle it can make a world of difference. If you suspect that an event is going to involve underage drinking or other risky activities, make sure your friends and trusted adults know your stance ahead of time – where the event is located, how and when you plan to make your exit, and who will be with you. Likeminded friends will support you, adults will commend your responsibility, and you’ll feel empowered to make safe, thoughtful decisions in the future!

Need help navigating peer pressure?

Need Help Removing Yourself from An Uncomfortable Situation? Create an X-Plan

The “X-Plan” was designed as an emergency escape hatch to help you, as teens, get a safe way out of risky situations while avoiding awkward conversations with your friends. If you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, simply text your parent or guardian the letter “X” for immediate assistance, ensuring a safe way out.

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