Alcohol use in teenagers is likely much higher than you would think. Studies show that over 70 percent of teens have tried alcohol at least once. Many are regular drinkers. They are merely following the trend of the rest of society, as about half of the population of Australia has alcohol at least once a week.
For many parents, alcohol is a drug they can overlook, thinking it's less of a threat to their child's health than other drugs they could be using. Many parents find relief in knowing their child is only drinking alcohol, as there are many other drug possibilities on their mind.
What they do not take into consideration is how deadly alcohol is to teens. When it comes to drug related deaths in teenagers, alcohol is responsible for the largest percentage of them.
Many teens who start with just a drink or two, progress to more dangerous activities, such as binge drinking, when left unchecked. They also often think it's ok to drive after they have been drinking, and get into accidents, sometimes with deadly consequences. Car wrecks are the leading cause of death in Australian teens.
Another side effect of alcohol use is unsafe sex practices. When a teen drinks a lot of alcohol, they lose some of their judgment and often make unwise decisions. This can include taking part in unsafe sex practices
So what is a parent to do? First, be a good role model. Don't show your children that it's acceptable to be drunk all the time. They will learn from your behavior so you should be able to control your alcohol intake, and don't get behind the wheel after you have been drinking.
You should also talk to your child about alcohol abuse as well as the things that can happen because of it, such as drunk driving and unsafe sex due to impaired judgment.