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Start Talking BEFORE They Start Drinking

We are all too familiar with today’s portrayal of teenagers—rebellious, difficult, and driven by peer pressure. However, what we don’t see is that kids often start making good or bad choices before their teen years. Often referred to as the tween years, children between 9–13 years of age (grades 4–8) are straddling the fence between childhood and choice. On the one hand, they are beginning to branch out in their lives, looking to new horizons and taking on new responsibilities. Yet, as children, they still look to their parents for guidance about what is right and what is wrong; they still longingly seek approval and support from the adults who surround them. Tweens are facing life’s first great crossroad: the decisions they make today will last a lifetime. If we reach them now, we can help them grow into healthier adults.

The bottom line? Youth are much more likely to delay drinking when they have a strong and supportive relationship with a parent or guardian. Open and trusting communication is a vital part of such a relationship. Open the lines of communication today, Start Talking Before They Start Drinking!

Did you know…
Underage drinking cost the citizens of New Jersey almost $1.6 billion in 2007. These costs included medical care, work loss, and pain and suffering associated with the multiple problems resulting from the use of alcohol by youth.  This translates to a cost of $1,915 per year for each youth in the State!

Costs of Underage Drinking in New Jersey 2007 by Problem   
Total Costs (in millions)
Youth Violence     $952.1
Youth Traffic Crashes     $291.5
High-Risk Sex, Ages 14-20     $133.3
Youth Property Crime     $67.4
Youth Injury     $35.2
Poisonings and Psychoses     $19.1
FAS Among Mothers Age 15-20     $27.5
Youth Alcohol Treatment     $46.2
Total     $1,572.3 Billion

To download the above free brochure “Underage Drinking Myths vs. Facts” visit www.stopalcoholabuse.gov.


 

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