Topic: How do we support those students choosing not to drink or use other drugs?

Most teens choose not to drink alcohol underage. 87% of 8th graders, 73% of 10th graders, and 60% of 12th graders said that they hadn't consumed alcohol in the past month, according to University of Michigan’s 2011 Monitoring the Future study.

Despite this, it’s still easy for teens to come into situations where they feel pressured to drink.  Many of us can probably remember being in this same situation growing up. It’s easy to feel that there’s an expectation to try alcohol, and that you’re losing out, missing something, by abstaining.

Ultimately, the decision to drink or not to drink will be up to the child. However, there’s a lot more that parents can do to help their child make the right choice than you’d think. Kids do listen to their parents when it comes to underage drinking – we found that Eighty-three percent of youth report parents are the leading influence in their decision to not to drink alcohol.

If you talk with your child about why they shouldn’t drink alcohol and give them ways to say no,, you will increase the likelihood that they won’t.  It’s that simple. And if you’re unsure of exactly how, we can help you jumpstart the conversation about alcohol with our Ask, Listen, Learn program.