Underage Drinking a Back-to-School Risk in Southwest Florida

Our teens are back in class, and after an entire summer away from the books, they’re already looking forward to their weekends. Unfortunately, alcohol and underage drinking is a prevalent risk for high school and college students. Although they’re not old enough to legally purchase alcohol, far too many traffic collisions and accidental deaths result from underage drinking each autumn.

Oftentimes teens are granted more lenient curfews, as they’re growing into young adults. Unfortunately, too many teens run off with this freedom and experiment with alcohol, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). As a matter of fact, a recent survey conduct among individuals 18 to 40 concluded that more than 60 percent see the summer season as a time to engage in underage drinking. Back-to-school and fall football season do nothing to mitigate those risks. It’s more important than every to speak with your young family members about the risks of underage drinking.

Our Fort Myers personal injury attorneys understand that teens want to fit in, they want to be cool and they want everyone to like them — but underage alcohol consumption is no way to succeed. That’s why we’re asking parents to step in and to talk with their teens today. Parents are actually the most important (and influential) people in a teen’s life.

MADD’s Power of Parents program focuses on educating parents and caregivers about the dangers, and also provides them the tools they need to talk with their kids about alcohol.

Get the conversation started today:

-Talk with your teens before there is a problem. You want to set ground rules before there are accusations, blame, anger, arguments or punishment.

-Make sure you talk about the rules and the consequences for breaking these rules. You want to paint a clear picture to your teen of how you expect them to act.

-Share your care with them. Touching them lightly on the back or the arm and showing affection during these conversations makes for less of a lecture feel. Make sure you reiterate that you’re doing this so they can continue to be safe and healthy.

-Keep an eye on them. When their life gets hectic (as high school can get), talk with your teens. Make sure they’re dealing with stress properly and safely.

-Kick off some more family activities. It’s critical to get your family together (like for dinner) at least three times a week.

-Offer them respect and you’ll get it in return. Address them with respect and insist that they treat you the same way.

-Make sure that you stick to the consequences and enforce them. If your teen breaks the rules, stay cool and stay firm. Let them know that you mean business.

Don’t think your teen will engage in this kind of behavior? Consider this: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that close to 40 percent of high school students have consumed alcohol in the last month. More than 20 percent binge drank, close to 10 percent have driven after consuming alcohol and close to a quarter of them rode along with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.

Help to keep your teen safe and kick off the conversation today!

If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic accident, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-283-2900.

More Blog Entries:

Skipping Driving Lessons a Bad Idea for Southwest Florida Teens, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, August 28. 2013

Small Cars Come Up Short in Front Crash Tests, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, August 27, 2013

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