Helping Teenagers Avoid Giving In To Alcohol-Related Peer Pressure
Alcohol addictions and abuse problems can strike anyone, regardless of their age. Teenagers, in particular, are prone to developing problems with alcohol, largely because of peer pressure. In fact, in the 12-and-over age group, as many as four out of every five people have tried alcohol at one point or another.
Understanding Peer Pressure
Children of all ages experience peer pressure in one form or another. Teenagers, however, are by far the most susceptible group since they have a tendency to care more about what their friends think. Oftentimes, teenagers are encouraged to try activities or substances by their friends or acquaintances. For instance, one of their friends may encourage them to try alcohol since everyone else is doing it.
This type of direct peer pressure is relatively easy to identify. There are, however, more subtle types, as well. For example, your child may feel like they will no longer be part of their group of friends if they don’t participate in the same activities as everyone else, even if those activities include drinking. Even if your teenager is not being directly pressured to drink, they still may feel pressure, simply because all of their friends are doing it and they don’t want to be left out.
The Downside Of Teenage Alcohol Abuse
In essence, there is no upside to teenage alcohol consumption. Even though drinking may seem relatively harmless, simply because so many adults do it, it is important to help teenagers understand that alcohol consumption carries serious consequences. In fact, automobile accidents that involve alcohol are the top cause of death in the 15 to 24-year-old age group. Drinking too much alcohol can also cause physical problems such as blurry vision, poor judgment, and a loss of emotional control.
From a physical standpoint, alcohol can harm the liver, can damage the heart, and can contribute to memory problems and vitamin deficiencies. Teens who drink and drive also may need to hire a DWI lawyer in Houston TX to help them deal with the legal repercussions if they get pulled over or get into an accident.
Learning How To Say No
No matter how much peer pressure your teen is exposed to, they always have the opportunity to say no. Talking to your teenager openly about alcohol use is the best way to make sure that they have accurate information and that they are capable of making the right decision if they ever are faced with a situation where their friends are drinking. During your conversation, make sure to talk about all of the consequences of drinking – both from a health standpoint and a legal standpoint.
You should also provide them with tips on how they can avoid succumbing to peer pressure. Ideally, you should give them specific examples of situations that they might face, providing them with ideas on how they can respond to each situation. You should also talk to them about times in the past when you have avoided giving in to peer pressure. It is important to remind your teen that they always have a choice and that they should make their decisions based on what is best for them.
Provide Your Teen With Alcohol-Related Statistics
One of the best ways to help your teenager understand the dangers of drinking is by providing them with statistics about alcohol use. For instance, you could let them know that nearly 5,000 people under the legal drinking age die each year as a result of alcohol consumption. Even more staggering, close to 190,000 people under the legal drinking age wind up in the emergency room each year as a result of alcohol. You should also remind them that people who consume alcohol before the age of 15 are five times as likely to abuse alcohol as those who don’t.