Alcohol is an intoxicating ingredient found in beer, wine, and liquor. Approximately 25% of Michigan high school students drank alcohol in the past 30 days. Youth who start drinking before the age of 15 are five times more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse later in life than those who begin drinking at or after the age of 21.
SudsOats SodaBubblyFire Water
Why it's dangerous
In general, alcohol use in adolescence can lead to:
- • Academic performance issues, such as more missed school or failing grades
- • Legal issues, such as DUI, OWI, or crimes committed while under the influence
- • Unwanted or unplanned sexual activity
- • Social issues, such as a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
- • Disruptions in normal development, including the brain
- • Increased risk for hangovers and other illnesses
A recent survey of Michigan youth found:
- • 13.6% had their first drink of alcohol before age 13
- • 11.2% were binge drinking in the last 30 days
- • Among students who were sexually active, 21.5% drank alcohol before last sexual intercourse
- • 14.6% reported that in the past 30 days they had ridden with a driver who had been drinking
Alcohol abuse, alcoholism, and binge drinking – what’s the difference?
Alcohol abuse – Alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking that results in harm to one’s health, interpersonal relationships, or ability to work. A person who abuses alcohol may fail to fulfill major responsibilities at work, school, or home and continue drinking despite negative consequences.
Alcoholism – Dependency on alcohol, also known as alcohol addiction, is a chronic disease. The signs and symptoms of alcohol dependence include a strong craving for alcohol, continued use despite repeated problems, and the inability to limit drinking.
Binge drinking - A pattern of drinking five or more drinks on a single occasion for adult men or four or more drinks on a single occasion for adult women, generally within about two hours.
A: Ask your child in a non-judgmental way if they have been drinking. Talk to them about the dangers of drinking. If they have been drinking, try to find out how they have been getting access to alcohol. If it’s from your home, consider locking it up.
A: You and your husband are adults, and your brains have finished developing. Explain to your teen that their brain is still growing and can be more negatively impacted by alcohol use. Before the age of 25, they are at higher risk for alcohol-related problems and addiction.
A: It is against the law in Michigan to allow minors to consume alcohol on your property. You could be charged with a misdemeanor, fined, and/or serve jail time. If an injury or car accident occurs, that would result in harsher consequences for you, potentially a felony.
A: It wouldn’t hurt to remind her that she should not drive if she has been drinking alcohol. When it comes to riding with someone that has been drinking, encourage her to call you or another adult she trusts to pick her up.