Alcohol & Children


Alcohol is also linked to over 3,500 underaged deaths a year in the United States, and over 100,000 emergency room visits annually are linked to underaged alcohol consumption. These alcohol-related injuries and deaths were primarily attributed to vehicular crashes, alcohol poisoning, and suicide. In a 2017 CDC report, 6% of high school students reported driving under the influence in the previous 30 days, and 17% reported riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.

While we know that a parent’s alcohol consumption is not the only factor that influences underaged drinking, we do know that saying “do as I say, not as I do” has little actual parenting efficacy. When we model adaptive behavior for our children, this helps them build those adaptive behaviors into adulthood as well. Parents can also help children avoid early alcohol use by limiting exposure to alcohol advertising, monitoring media and peer influences, and keeping open lines of communication with their children.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, September). Underage Drinking.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. (2007, April). Alcohol Advertising and Youth.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2006, January). Why Do Adolescents Drink, What Are the Risks, and How Can Underage Drinking Be Prevented?