The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) founded Alcohol Awareness Month to increase awareness and understanding of alcohol and alcoholism. Held at the start of prom and graduation season, it provides a timely opportunity to address underage drinking. Here are a few facts from the NCADD to consider:
- In one study, 80 percent of teens said their parents were the largest influence on their decision whether or not to drink.
- About 10 percent of 12-year-olds, and half of 15-year-olds, have tried alcohol.
- Teens who experiment with alcohol before age 15 are four times more likely to become alcohol dependent when they are older than those who wait until age 20.
Parents should start talking with children about the dangers of drinking as early as age nice. Research shows that children start to think more positively about alcohol between ages nine and 13. Visit ncadd.org for advice on talking with children and teens about alcohol and for details about local awareness month activities.