We’ve covered youth drinking before on the D.C. Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog, but the subject bears repeating: one of the most effective things parents can do to protect their children is to communicate with them about alcohol. On its website for underage drinking prevention, the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) advises parents that while all teens can be harmed by alcohol use, the following risk factors put some teens at exceptional risk of alcohol-related problems:
- “Alcohol or other drug use before the age of 15.
- A parent who is a problem drinker or an alcoholic.
- Close friends who use alcohol and/or other drugs.
- Aggressive, antisocial, or hard-to-control behavior from an early age.
- Childhood abuse and/or other major traumas.
- Current behavioral problems and/or problems with school work.
- Parents who do not support them, talk to them, or keep track of their whereabouts.
- Ongoing anger or rejection from parents and/or harsh, inconsistent discipline. “They also recommend including in your conversations the precise reason(s) you’re bringing up the subject of alcohol use. Following are some potential reasons to include in your conversation:
- “You want your child to avoid alcohol.
- You want your child to have self-respect.
- You want him to know that drinking is illegal.
- You want him to know that drinking at his age can be dangerous.
- You may have a family history of alcoholism, or there may be other things that put your child at risk for alcohol abuse.”Previously on the D.C. Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog, we have posted articles related to:
- Virginia’s new social host law targets parents of underage drinkers
- Prom safety tips related to underage drinking
- Back-to-School safety tips for teen drivers and their parents
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