Underage drinking Montgomery, PA, is a big topic. When considering the health problems presented by substance abuse for America’s teenagers, the US Center for Disease Control reports that alcohol remains the substance most abused. A recent survey found that more than 70 percent of high school students surveyed had used alcohol at least once. Another 40 percent reported using marijuana.
The situation is no different in Pennsylvania. Underage drinking in Montgomery, PA, and other state municipalities, is prevalent. The county and state have taken a very strong position on the issue of teenage drinking. Parents who allow their children under the age of 21 to drink alcohol, even in their own home, are subject to a jail term and a fine that could amount to more than $2,500.
Families living in Montgomery, PA, with a teen who routinely indulges in underage drinking or drug abuse of any kind are encouraged to take the matter seriously.
The younger a child is when they first begin drinking, the more likely it is that they will be unable to stop. If your teen can’t do it alone, professional help is available. Contact us at Newport Academy today to learn how we can assist your family.
Rules and Regulations Against Underage Drinking in Montgomery, PA: Why?
Such regulations may appear harsh to some, but these tough regulations have not been imposed without reason.
A man in Skipjack, PA allowed his son’s friends to attend a Halloween party at his home, knowing that they were drinking. He did nothing to stop the drinking, and a young girl was assaulted. All those involved were under the influence and under 21. The man who owned the home was sentenced to eight days in jail and two years’ probation due to his enabling of the event.
Underage drinking is very dangerous and can lead to alcohol poisoning and other harmful results, both physical and emotional. It can ruin the life of a teenager and their parents’ lives, and endanger others as well.
Stats and Facts: Underage Drinking Is Deadly
The Dangerous Statistics
Communities in Montgomery County, such as Villanova and Spring House, are concerned about underage drinking for many reasons, including the following statistics:
- About 28 percent of teens between the ages of 12 and 17 have identified alcohol (and other drug) use as their biggest problem.
- The number of preteens and early teens, particularly girls, who admit to already having had a drink has shot up from 7 percent for girls between the ages of 10 and 14 in the 1960s to 25 percent today.
- Currently, at least 20 million US adults abuse alcohol regularly; more than half of them began drinking as teenagers.
- The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that 16 percent of 8th graders, 33 percent of 10th graders, and 44 percent of 12th graders had had a drink in the past month.
- One in 16 underage drinkers – about 650,000 – on average have been provided alcohol by their parents in the past 30 days.
- About 5,000 people under the age of 21 die each year due to alcohol-related accidents each year.
- Only 4 percent of teenagers report having difficulty obtaining alcohol.
What Can Parents Do?
This Info 101 article offers a series of tips on how parents can best deal with underage drinking.
The list details the following guidelines:
- Never offer your children even a sip of alcohol.
- Supervise all teen parties carefully.
- Know where drinking is apt to occur and take pains to keep your teen away.
- Talk to your teen about signing a “no drinking until 21” pledge.
- Make sure your teen knows that when or if they ever become intoxicated, they must call you.
- Educate your teen about the dangers of riding in cars with drivers who have had anything to drink.
- Participate in frequent family dinners and gatherings to maintain open and regular communication with your teen.
Help from the American Association for the Advancement of Science
For parents who would like more support, the guide titled “Delaying That First Drink: a Parent’s Guide,” details the dangers of alcohol for adolescents. It explains that a teenager’s brain will continue to develop years after high school and college. When any mind-altering substance that affects the brain – such as alcohol, marijuana or another substance – is introduced, the development of the brain is delayed.
The guide also explains the following facts.
- Alcohol affects not just the brain and the central nervous system, but also the cardiovascular system, the endocrine system, and the digestive system.
- The “blackout” phenomenon occurs when a teen drinks so much that they experience a brief period of amnesia, unable to recall the events that occurred after a certain point when they began drinking.
- The guide also explores the lack of ability to drive a car while under the influence. And, it reminds parents that a single drink is enough to impair a driver’s judgment and coordination.
- Teenagers and college-aged adults are the groups most prone to binge drinking, which can result in alcohol poisoning. Signs of alcohol poisoning includes:
- Irregular breathing
- Loss of consciousness
Teen Alcohol Consumption Is Problematic at Any Level: Does Your Child Need Help?
Underage drinking Montgomery, PA, is important. In addition to the consumption of alcohol by adults, is the biggest substance problem facing towns in the county, such as Bala-Cynwyd and Haverford. Indeed, towns around the country face this problem. Alcohol leads to overwhelmingly more accidents, violent crimes, suicides, and all forms of social disruption than any other drug or substance. It is particularly dangerous to those who are still developing and growing. After taking that first drink at the age of 13 or 14, they may be embarking on a lifetime of alcoholic abuse. For that reason, it is extremely important that alcohol be kept away from teens for as long as possible. As with virtually all other problems involving substance abuse, this is not an easy task.
It’s also not a task that you have to face by yourself. If your child has a problem with alcohol, please contact us at Newport Academy today. You need not be alone as you help your teen come back from alcohol abuse and move forward into a life characterized by health and healing.