The negative consequences that have come along as potential and very likely effects of underage drinking encourage to be discussed this time of year with the holiday’s right around the corner. If you are a parent or family member and plan on having alcohol in the home with underage individuals, it may be best to sit them down and have a discussion with them beforehand.
Effects of Underage Drinking
Conversations that neither party wants to get into tend not to happen right away or more commonly, at all. This doesn’t change the fact that they should be occurring. A parent, guardian, family member, or role model having a vital discussion on the hefty effects of underage drinking, especially during the holidays like Christmas and New Years, can be beneficial because it not only strengthens the bond between the relationship of the two but it draws attention to the truth behind what the individual may be feeling and why they may be inclined to desire drinking alcohol to begin with. These are thoughts that should be addressed initially instead of swept under the rug and never dealt with because otherwise they wind up growing and can become even worse issues over time, leading to heavier drinking, alcoholism, and potentially other substance use disorders like drug addiction.
How to Start the Conversation
Beginning the conversation about the effects of underage drinking may be uneasy but once that feeling is overcome and the topic starts to get discussed, it will become more comfortable and the talk will flow naturally. Try not to over think the discussion or analyze it. Be as honest and authentic as possible.
Know the facts! Click here: Drinking Statistics Infographic
What to Say
Sticking to the facts is the best approach and if the individual gets aggravated by testing your knowledge, simply challenge them by telling them to report their own evidence and to cite where they found their source. It may be helpful to have information, but too much statistics and information can be overwhelming. If you notice that the individual is getting anxious, try an alternate approach and ask them if they have any questions, concerns, or fears regarding alcohol in specific to the upcoming holidays. This will automatically show that you are an outlet for information on the topic if they ever need to reach out about alcohol and other drugs. You may find out that they are nervous about being around it or they may be honest with you and tell you that they have tried it in the past. However the conversation unfolds, make your stance very clear by stating that you disapprove of underage drinking and will not condone the behavior.
The individual may not respond the way that you anticipate and that’s okay. All that matters is that you were willing to discuss the matter and made the attempt to do so. You put the effort into explaining the effects of underage drinking and offered your words of wisdom. Now that the information was put out there, it is up to the individual to make the next right decision. Take notice of their behaviors over the holidays and keep a watchful eye on any alcohol you may have in the home. The effects of underage drinking can be disastrous with binge drinking carrying a deadly toll. Taking the first step by having that conversation with adolescent individuals and addressing the issue headfirst no matter how uncomfortable it may seem can help prevent the undesired negative effects of underage drinking.