Barb's Blog


Girls & Alcohol

At some point in your daughter’s middle school or high school career, she may encounter alcohol. You need to know as much as you can so that you can educate her on her potential choices.

Although 10% of parents believe their teens drank alcohol in the past year, the truth is that 19% of 8th graders and 52% of high school seniors drink. What’s a parent to do?Talk. They Hear You.”, with the following goals in mind:
Voice your Values. Over 80% of kids 10-18 say parents have the biggest impact on their decision on whether to drink, so decide upon your family values and communicate your expectations to her.

  • Show you care. Keep calm and neutral while stressing the short-term consequences, such as:
    • Harder time making good decisions
    • May say and do things that she will regret later or possibly not remember at all (blackouts)
    • May affect her friendships
    • Can negatively affect her academic performance
    • Can lead to weight gain - both from the alcohol consumption and the late-night junk food.
    • May lead to less freedom and more rules
    • Damage her relationship with her parents
    • Potential legal ramifications such as a minor in possession charge.
  • Show you are informed. Teach her about alcohol and how it affects her growing body.
    • One standard drink is: 12 ounces of beer (5% alcohol), 8 ounces of malt Liquor, 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol), 1.5 ounces of liquor (a "shot" such as vodka). Teach her to read labels.
    • In general, the liver can process one ounce of liquor in one hour for a 100-pound girl. Don't try to "keep up with the boys".
    • People who drink are affected even before they show signs of being drunk.
    • When she drinks, she is more likely to be impulsive. She may be more likely to engage in inappropriate or risky behavior, including drinking and driving, sexual activity (like unprotected sex).
    • She is less likely to recognize potential danger, like a potential sexual assault.
    • Drinking leads to loss of balance and muscle control, slurred speech, and blurred vision, even normal activities can become more dangerous.
    • Drinking too much alcohol can also lead to death. If she drinks too much, she will eventually get sleepy and pass out. Reflexes like gagging and breathing can be suppressed. That means she could vomit and choke or stop breathing completely.
  • Help her resist peer pressure. Agree on a word or phrase she can use to have you pick her up, no questions asked.
    • Come up with 5 excuses she can use to refuse a drink.
    •  Some common excuses: "I can't drink / smoke pot. My parents test me." "I'm the designated driver." "I have a game tomorrow, so I can’t."

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