Myths and Facts about Teens & Alcohol
Myth: Drinking isn't all that dangerous.
Fact: One in three 18-24 year olds admitted to the emergency room for serious injuries is intoxicated. Alcohol is also associated with homicides, suicides, and drowning.
Myth: There isn't much a parent can do to keep their teen from experiementing with alcohol.
Fact: Teens who eat three or more dinners a week with their families are less likely to use alcohol. Also, teens identify their parents as the number one influence in their lives.
Myth: If a teen is caught drinking and driving, they won't get arrested if their BAC is below 0.08.
Fact: They will be arrested. There is zero tolerance for anyone under the age of 21 to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in the blood.
Myth: Underage drinking is a rite of passage.
Fact: Contrary to popular belief, most kids don't drink. Research shows that believing that 'everybody's doing it' actually makes young people more likely to drink alcohol. On the other hand, when these misperceptions are corrected and teens realize that 'NOT everybody's doing it,' they are less likely to drink alcohol.
Injuries in teens: The alcohol connection
The use of alcohol and drugs is associated with the leading causes of death and injuries among adolescents: motor vehicle crashes, homicide and suicide. The American Academy of Pediatrics considers alcohol use and abuse by children and adolescents a major problem with far reaching negative consequences. In spite of this, addiction and the use of alcohol among teens are under diagnosed and often unidentified.
Underage drinking is not a rite of passage.
Underage drinking is often overlooked in our community as an accepted part of being a teen, or justified by parents as a "rite of passage." In reality, alcohol use is a contributing factor to many of the public health concerns affecting adolescents. From traffic injuries and violence to sexually transmitted diseases, underage drinking has taken a heavy toll on our community.
Prevention is critical.
Much can be done to reduce underage drinking and its effects on our community. The UC Davis Health System Trauma Prevention Program works with many different organizations in the community to develop a multi-faceted prevention approach that includes education, community awareness and parental involvement.