Each year in Georgia, approximately 158 deaths are attributed to excessive alcohol use by individuals under 21. In our state, alcohol is the drug of choice among youth and consumption isn't just limited to college and high school students. In 2011, 34 percent of Georgia's middle school students reported having at least one drink of alcohol in the past 30 days.
With so much at stake for our children, we need to put more emphasis on teaching them the dangers of alcohol before they ever pick up that first drink.
We recently unveiled a new campaign in your community aimed at preventing underage drinking. The goal of "Give Yourself a Chance" is to educate local youth on the risks associated with alcohol use and empower them to resist the pressure to drink they often get from peers and media messages. This campaign is funded by the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities.
We encourage adults to get plugged in with us by connecting with the HEARTS for Families Facebook and Twitter accounts. We also encourage you to encourage youth to check out the "Give Yourself a Chance" Facebook page and engage in the positive messaging there. We update this page with fun, healthy ideas teens can do that do not include alcohol. The GYAC campaign is also active on Instagram, and we regularly post motivational content geared toward teen success. Give us a shout out on social media by using #giveyourselfachance!
Teen Drinking - Get the Facts
Teens are at Risk
Underage peer pressure to try alcohol is real, but so are the consequences. Alcohol abuse is often linked to criminal behavior and social and health problems. Here are a few key statistics:
- Underage drinking is a factor in nearly half of all teen automobile crashes and contributes significantly to suicides, homicides and fatal injuries. In fact, more teens die as a result of alcohol use than all other illegal drugs combined.
- There are approximately 1.5 billion episodes of binge drinking among persons 18 years or older in the U.S. each year.
- 4,700 teens and young adults die every year because of excessive alcohol consumption.
- Alcohol abuse is linked to as many as two-thirds of all sexual assaults and date rapes of teens and college students.
Video from: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA/NIH)
You Can Help!
Every adult – whether parent, teacher, mentor or community leader – has the opportunity to effect real change in the life of a child with alcohol education and open dialogue.
Please download and distribute our campaign materials:
- Letter to parents
- Fact sheet on underage drinking
- Resources for parents
- Tips for talking to your kids about drinking
- "Cost of a High" poster
Contact us for more information.
- Drug and Substance Abuse resources (courtesy of Best Drug Rehabilitation)
- Youth health information including topics on Adderall, alcohol, cold medicine, OxyContin and medical marijuana (courtesy of Drug Watch)
Please note that resources provided by HEARTS for Families are for reference and do not necessarily reflect direct endorsement. Please speak with your health care provider in cases of emergency or for medical needs and counsel.