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Why Adults need to Talk with Young People about Alcohol
The 2012 Survey of Students Knowledge and Attitudes of Drugs and Health released by the DNDC, where 2,060 9 to 11 year olds were surveyed showed the following:
Average age for first trying alcohol, even a sip, but not including wine at church, 8 years old
% of 9 year olds who had tried alcohol, even a sip, but not including wine at church, 17.4%
% of 10 year olds who had tried alcohol, even a sip, but not including wine at church, 25.3%
% of 11 year olds who had tried alcohol, even a sip, but not including wine at church, 33%
Additionally, the 2011 Bermuda Youth Survey, released by the DNDC, where 3,200 10 to 18 year olds were surveyed showed the following:
Average age for first trying alcohol 12 years old
% of 13 year olds who had tried alcohol 24.5%
% of 14 year olds who had tried alcohol 41%
% of 15 year olds who had tried alcohol 52.5%
These statistics are very troubling because it is proven that the younger a person is when they begin consuming alcohol, the more likely they are to become addicted to alcohol.
To see how to talk with your children about alcohol click here
And what else can you do as an adult to prevent underage drinking?
Do not give, buy or serve alcohol to young people.
Giving alcohol to someone who is under the age of 18 or turning a blind eye when a young person is consuming alcohol is dangerous and irresponsible. Step in and put a stop to it. It is proven that those who begin consuming alcohol before the age of 15 are 4 times more likely to become addicted to alcohol than those who wait unitl age 21, each additional year of delayed drinking onset reduces the probability of developing alcoholism by 14%.
Some adults use alcohol as a "special occasion celebration," perhaps allowing their child to have a sip of beer or champagne or wine. We must advise strongly against this.
Model responsible alcohol behavior infront of young people
Simply stated, children copy adults behavior, therefore model restraint and set a good example. If you choose to drink, you can positively influence young people by drinking in moderation and never driving if you have been drinking. If you or your partner struggle with alcohol use, seek proffessional help, call 295 5982.
To see how to talk with teenagers about alcohol, click here
Don't keep alcohol in your house, or keep it well out of reach.
If you must keep alcohol in your house, keep it in a place that is high up and out of easy reach to your child, or even better lock your alcohol up.
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