Underage Drinking

Underage drinking is a tough subject, but it’s an important one. As one big community, everyone in Wyoming should understand how alcohol can affect families and the risk it poses to our youth. We’ll only get there by talking together, so here’s a few ways to get this conversation started.

Underage Drinking: Conversation Starters

  • Everybody’s doing it.
    It may seem like everyone is doing it, but that’s not the case. In Wyoming, According to the Wyoming Prevention Needs Assessment in 2020, 84% of youth aged 6th grade to 12th grade reported they had not drank alcohol in the last 30 days.

  • You drink or you drank in high school. What’s the big deal?
    There is more research now that says human brains don’t fully develop until they are 25 years old. Starting alcohol use early increases the chances that you may become addicted and I don’t want that for you.

  • My friend is having a party. Their parents are going to be there and they’re taking everyone’s keys. They just want everyone to be safe!
    I know that parent believes they are doing what is best, but it’s problematic. Parties like that put everyone at risk for a physical assault or a sexual assault. I’ve heard stories of young people just bringing an extra key so they can leave whenever they want and there’s always the risk of alcohol poisoning or other drug use. It’s not in your best interest.
  • Have you ever felt pressured to drink?
  • Where do people typically drink alcohol? Where are places where there isn’t alcohol?
  • Why do some people drink? Do people drink to fit in?
  • Do you want to drink? Why or why not?
  • Has alcohol affected any of your relationships? If so, how?
  • If you are in a situation where you are surrounded by people who are drinking, what can you do instead?
  • How would you feel if your best friend was struggling with alcohol use? How about a family member?
  • Share a story about how alcohol has affected one of your relationships.
  • Drinking is illegal for anyone under the age of 21, and often schools, activities and workplaces have specific consequences related to drinking. Do you know anyone who has faced trouble as a result of alcohol either at home, at school, or with the law?
  • Do you know anyone whose involvement with activities was affected by alcohol?
  • Do you know anyone affected by a DUI? 
  • Do you know anyone injured or killed by a drunk driver?
  • What do you imagine your life will look like in 5 years? 10 years? How might alcohol impact that vision?
  • Share a story about how you or someone you know has been negatively affected by alcohol.
  • How does alcohol affect the brain/body/nervous system?
    • Short-term, alcohol can slow speech, impair memory and slow reaction times. Chronic alcohol use can lead to frontal lobe damage, which is responsible for emotional control, short-term memory and judgment. Learn more here.

  • What do you feel like the next day if you drank excessively the night before?
    • Drinking excessively can result in fatigue, weakness, headache, muscle ache, nausea, vomiting or stomach pain, decreased ability to concentrate and more. This is due to alcohol’s adverse impacts on the body including an inflammatory response from your immune system and falling blood sugar. Learn more here.

  • How does it make you feel if you can’t remember something you did?
  • Do you know anyone who has struggled with alcohol use?
  • Share a story about how alcohol addiction has affected you.
  • Who can you talk to if you feel pressured to drink?
  • Who can you talk to if you’re concerned that you’re drinking excessively?
  • Who can you report a sexual assault to?
  • Who can you talk to if you feel that someone you love is consuming alcohol excessively or is addicted?
For additional resources and toolkits for partner agencies and organizations, click here.

Your community needs to see these messages. For information on placing WY We Talk digital advertising, contact Rachel Bouzis with Kalen Marketing Solutions.

Access Complete Toolkit

WY We Talk digital toolkits include a variety of resources designed to initiate conversations around important mental health and wellness topics. Designed for prevention organizations and other health-related agencies, these toolkits include graphics, social media posts, radio spots, press releases and more. They are free to use, courtesy of the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police, Healthy Natrona County, Park County Prevention, Sheridan County Prevention, Weston County Health Services and Southwest Counseling Services.