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Teens who drink underage are more than twice as likely to develop alcohol problems then those who do not drink before 21. This number increases to four times as likely if they start before the age of 15.

As the summer months can produce a likelihood of drinking for teens, this might be a critical moment to speak with your children about the dangers of underage drinking.

Summertime is a transitional period for teens, as result of more unsupervised time to take part in risky behavior, according to Mary Haag, president, CEO and executive director of the Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati. “When they’re in transition, they’re changing social circles,” Haag states.

The coalition’s survey results also stated that underage drinking is declining in Cincinnati since 2000. Furthermore, the decline can be appreciated from factors such as collaborative efforts of: local coalitions, media campaigns, education of parents and an increased awareness of laws.

Haag also suggest one of the most notable changes has been a change in peer perception. Peers are begging to show disapproval of drinking. According to Haag, the perception of peers engaging in underage drinking is a strong factor for this decision making.

If a parent is concerned their child might be taking part in such activities, Haag suggest parents are still the number one influences in their kids’ lives and conversations with teens about drinking are imperative.

Haag also suggest if you catch your teen drinking, avoid confronting the situation when they are inebriated and wait until he or she is sober to speak about the situation. She further recommends, addressing the situation in a clear direct manner and discussing observations you made about his or her behavior as well.

For further coverage and other helpful hints on preventing, addressing, and handling potential alcohol abuse continue reading at cincyschoolzone.com.

So what do you think Cincy? Has alcoholism affected your family? Should the legal age of drinking be lowered to 18? Feel free to join the discussions on FACEBOOK. As you know, our Facebook profile page has bounced its capacity twice so the WizNation crew needs you to help spread the word and opt to stay connected to us by joining one of our group pages here – WIZNATION or WIZNATION CREW.

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