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Underage drinking: Help your children avoid alcohol abuse

Alcohol is the most abused substance among teens in the United States, with more than half of American youth having tried alcohol by the age of 20. Underage and binge drinking poses serious health and safety risks and can lead to early addictive and destructive behaviors. If your children have problems with alcohol consumption, Family Counseling Center serves the Salt Lake City and Murray, Utah areas with assistance. Our certified substance abuse counselors work with teenagers individually to choose the best methods and therapies and employ evidence-based treatments to help overcome addictions.

Dangers of teen alcohol abuse

The short- and long-term negative consequences of teen alcohol abuse can include:

  • Impaired driving
  • Risky sexual behavior
  • Increased risks of violent behaviors and sexual assault
  • Academic decline
  • Association with the use of other addictive and/or illegal substances

Preventing underage drinking

If you have noticed that your children are at risk of alcohol abuse, the following steps can help prevent or reduce teenage alcohol consumption:

  1. Be an example for your kids. Children tend to do not as their parents say, but as their parents do. Being a positive role model for your children helps them follow your example and avoid binge drinking.
  2. Know what’s going on in their lives. Be involved in their lives, and know and welcome their friends. Encourage their independence while holding them accountable for the consequences of their actions.
  3. Educate your children about substance abuse and possible legal consequences. Knowing about all the negative consequences that alcohol consumption leads to can help your teen make better, more educated choices with their friends.
  4. Show your children how to deal with boredom without alcohol. Many teenagers start drinking alcohol to pass the time. Help your children find alternative activities to spend their free time. Teenagers that are actively involved in school, sports and volunteering activities are less likely to seek out alcohol or drugs because they’re bored.