By arming your teens with good information about drinking they will be able to make smart decisions when they are in situations that involve alcohol.
Make sure you know the facts and laws about alcohol and can talk in a balanced and constructive way with your teen to build their understanding.
Here are the top five things they should know.
1. The law
It is illegal for them to purchase alcohol until they are 18. It is illegal for anyone, except their parent or legal guardian, to supply them with alcohol until they are 18.
2. Alcohol is alcohol
All alcoholic drinks will effect them if they drink more than their body can process — the average person can only process one standard drink an hour. They can check how many standard drinks are in a bottle or can by looking at the logo on the back. To stay sociable and safe, teens should drink less than the daily limits experts recommend — for women that’s 2 standard drinks and for men 3 standard drinks.
3. Drunk looks like?
Drunkenness can sneak up them. The early signs are increased feelings of happiness, relaxation, and loss of inhibitions. From there they might experience slurred speech, intense moods, confusion, blurred vision, poor coordination, nausea, vomiting, and sleepiness.
4. How to slow down
If they start to feel drunk the best thing to do is stop drinking, or at least slow down. They can space their drinks with water, choose low alcohol options, or just remove themselves from the situation and go home.
5. Staying safe
Above all else they need to make extra effort to stay safe when they've been drinking. They should always stick with people they know and trust; never accept drinks from strangers; and never leave their drinks unattended because they could be spiked. They should never leave a venue on their own. And they should never drink and drive or accept a ride from someone they suspect has been drinking or taking drugs.