Fall is here, which means the holiday season is approaching and there will be parties for every holiday. This October, MADD’s Power of You(th)®, program reminds teens that there are many myths associated with underage drinking. Power of You(th) is providing the facts. Now is a good opportunity to talk to teens about underage drinking. If your teens understand the risks involved, they will make better decisions when situations involving alcohol arise.

Teens may already know the legal drinking age is 21. And they may know that drinking alcohol makes people behave in ways they normally wouldn’t. But do they understand the other risks? Telling teens they’re too young to drink is one thing, but explaining why they shouldn’t will have a greater impact on them. Sharing factual information is a good place to start.

A few common myths about alcohol:

  • Alcohol is not as bad as other drugs – The truth is teen drinking kills about 4,300 people each year. That’s more than all illegal drugs combined. Your teens should also know that consuming alcohol puts them at risk of injury and physical or sexual assault.
  • Teens wouldn’t want alcohol as much if it weren’t illegal – The truth is, in places with lower minimum drinking ages, youth tend to drink earlier. When the age limit is higher, young people tend to wait until they are older.
  • All teens drink – The truth is the majority of teens do not drink. Only one in five teens engages in binge drinking.
  • Drinking is a phase, everyone outgrows it – The truth is not everyone does. A person’s brain is not fully developed until they’re well into their 20s and underage drinking can affect the brain’s development. When teens begin to drink underage, they are more likely binge drink. This makes them more likely to be heavy drinkers or even alcohol dependent as adults

Between peers, the internet and other media, there is a lot of misinformation out there that reaches teens. They may have trouble separating fact from fiction and often buy in to a lot of common myths. Teens are more likely to accept facts from people they trust. If you or someone you love is a teenager, make sure you have the facts. Click here or more myths and facts or visit powerofyouth.com.