Data recently released by Monitoring the Future, one of the leading surveys on teen drug use, shows good news in the fight against underage drinking. For the first time since the survey began in 1991, fewer than 30% of 8th graders had drunk underage. Since we launched the Power of Parents® program in 2010, drinking among 8th graders has declined by 19% and drinking among 10th graders has declined by seven percent.
The news is not all good, however. Drinking among 12th graders went up in the 2012 survey. More than half of all high school seniors (54%) have been drunk and over half of those have been drunk in the past month. In addition, almost one out of every four 12th graders reported binge drinking in the past two weeks.
This shows the need to have not just one talk with your children about alcohol, but rather to have an ongoing conversation. As your child grows, they will know more, have different questions and face more difficult pressures. MADD has research based tools available that can help get these lifesaving conversations started. Use our Power of Parents handbook to talk with you teens about not drinking alcohol until they are 21 and never getting in the car with someone who has been drinking, or visit the parent section of our website to get more tips and expert resources for talking with your kids about alcohol.