There are many factors influencing teens to drink, but one of the most prevalent is that drinking it is an accepted norm in “teen society”. Many teens use alcohol as a way to establish positive relationships with their peers, since their culture links popularity with the ability to party. They also tend to regard the physical effects of alcohol, such as outlandish or high-risk behavior, as socially advantageous.

Of course, alcohol affects judgment and perceptions. While under the physical effect of alcohol, teens are more likely to drive inebriated, end an evening of drinking with a “hookup”, participate in unprotected sex, and drive at high speeds. Unfortunately, the immaturity that accompanies adolescence leads teens to underestimate the serious consequences of their risky behavior. Although teen culture is not ready to change, as a parent you can challenge your teenager about the value of drinking and consequences that can occur by drinking. However, if your teenager is engaging in drinking and risky behaviors, please contact our counseling center for help.

NOTE: you can freely redistribute this resource, electronically or in print, provided you leave the authors contact information below intact.

Author: Evelyn Wenzel, MSW, LCSW, CAP