Underage Alcohol Use on the Rise Due to COVID19
There is data showing that off-premises retailers in North Carolina are selling record numbers of beer, wine and liquor. How does that translate to youth alcohol use?
Youth are home now more than ever and may be unsupervised.
Adult use rates of alcohol have been increasing state-wide.
The possibility of an increase in youth alcohol use is something that should be considered.
Did You Know: Before COVID19…
The #1 place youth got alcohol is from their own home.
Over 1,800 college students died from alcohol related injuries each year.
In the US alcohol kills more than all illegal drugs combined.
Teen girls rival teen boys with consumption rates of alcohol.
Every day 7,000 kids younger than 16 years old consume their first alcoholic drink.
Kids under 15 years old who consume alcohol are four times likely to end up alcohol dependant as an adult than if they waited until they were 21 years old for their first drink.
How can this be changed?
Parents and guardians can make a positive impact in their communities by doing a few things.
- Monitor and secure alcohol in the home.
- Purchasing in quantity is more cost effective but it is harder to keep up with 24 beers or a case of wine than it is a 6 pack or bottle.
- Only purchase what you will consume.
- Even if it costs a couple dollars more this tactic regarding alcohol storage will make less alcohol available for youth resulting in fewer youth consuming.
- Storing alcohol in cabinet or unmonitored areas of the home allows youth access.
- Keeping alcohol stored appropriately, like firearms and dangerous household chemicals, will keep youth from consuming alcohol.
- How youth see alcohol consumed in their environment determines their perception of alcohol.
- During events at the home (birthday parties, cookouts, holiday celebrations) make sure alcohol is not the focal point of the event.
- Don’t glamorize alcohol use.
- Show youth that a good time can be had without alcohol.
- Parents rationalizing youth use.
- Parent provided parties are not the answer.
- Parent provided parties are dangerous.
- Parent provided parties normalize alcohol use by youth.
On July 16th we hosted a virtual lunch and learn where the film “This Place” was shown.
Following the film was a discussion about underage alcohol use and how it impacts communities in Stokes County.
“This Place” is an award-winning, 15-minute film that dramatically captures today’s youth drinking culture. This film shows the alcohol-saturated environment kids are exposed to and the impact of underage drinking. It also offers an important glimpse into communities that are taking action to reduce alcohol problems.
If you are a parent/guardian, caregiver to youth, coach, teacher, community member, faith leader or are interested in creating positive change in your community this film will allow you to be better informed about underage alcohol use and introduce concepts to help decrease alcohol misuse in your community.