Underage
Drinking

Why We Need To Talk About Underage Drinking

Navigating conversations about underage drinking with your children requires the same sensitivity and care as discussing any important issue. We understand the significance of addressing this topic and are dedicated to equipping you with valuable insights, guidance, resources, and support to approach these conversations effectively. Creating an open and non-judgmental space for discussions about underage drinking is crucial. At WYWETALK, we empower parents with practical strategies, expert advice, and actionable tips to foster safe and transparent dialogues. By prioritizing open communication, we can collectively make a positive impact and help our children make responsible choices.
Underage Drinking

Facts About Alcohol

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) reported that 29.6% of high school students had consumed alcohol within the past 30 days.

The 3 leading causes of death for 15 to 24-year-olds: AUTOMOBILE CRASHES, HOMICIDES, SUICIDES. Alcohol is a leading factor in all 3.

Teens who drink heavily are three times more likely to try and hurt themselves (self-harm, attempt suicide, etc) than those who don’t.

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids conducted a study that revealed that adolescents who learn about the risks of alcohol and drugs from their parents are 50% less likely to use drugs and alcohol than those who do not receive these messages.

Contributing Factors

Peer Pressure
Peer Pressure
Curiosity
Curiosity
Rebellion
Rebellion
Coping Mechanisms
Coping Mechanisms
Lack of Awareness
Lack of Awareness
Family Influence
Family Influence
Mental Health Conditions
Mental Health
Lack of Supervision
Lack of Parental Supervision

Contributing Factors

Peer Pressure
One of the most common reasons kids start drinking is because they feel pressure from their friends or peers to do so. They may want to fit in or feel like they’re missing out if they don’t participate.
Curiosity
Kids may also be curious about alcohol and want to try it out for themselves. They may see it as something forbidden or taboo, which can make it more appealing to them.
Rebellion
They want to rebel against authority figures, such as their parents or teachers. Research has shown that this behavior is often seen in adolescents who have poor relationships with their parents or who have experienced family conflict.
Coping Mechanisms
Many kids turn to alcohol as a way to cope with stress and negative emotions. Adolescents who experience high levels of stress, anxiety or depression may be at higher risk for alcohol use disorders.
Lack Of Awareness
Many adolescents turn to alcohol as a way to cope with stress and negative emotions. The report notes that adolescents who experience high levels of stress, anxiety or depression may be at higher risk for alcohol use disorders.
Family Influence
Kids who grow up in households where alcohol use is normalized or accepted may be more likely to drink underage.
Mental Health
Kids who struggle with mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression, may turn to alcohol as a way to cope.
Lack Of Parental Supervision
Kids who have little or no parental supervision may be more likely to engage in risky behaviors, including drinking underage.
Terminology Translation

Identifying Terminology

Try out the sliding feature on the interactive cellphone and unveil the true meanings behind seemingly innocent phrases commonly used by teens to discuss drinking discreetly. By understanding code words and phrases, parents can improve their awareness of youth culture and have a better idea of how to best initiate open conversations, foster trust, and encourage responsible decision-making.

Drag the slider to reveal possible responses!

Know The Word: Lit Borg Pregame Postgame Darty Function/Func Kickback Rager Sloshed The Plug Throw Down Turnt

Identifying Terminology

Try out the sliding feature on the interactive cellphone and unveil the true meanings behind seemingly innocent phrases commonly used by teens to discuss drinking discreetly. By understanding code words and phrases, parents can improve their awareness of youth culture and have a better idea of how to best initiate open conversations, foster trust, and encourage responsible decision-making.

Know The Word: Lit Borg Pregame Postgame Darty Function/Func Kickback Rager Sloshed The Plug Throw Down Turnt

Drag the slider to reveal the translations!
Terminology Translation

What Does It Look Like?

It is important to know the signs of underage drinking so that you can understand when to start a conversation with your child. Click through the web stories below to learn more about where your child might be getting alcohol, how they hide it, signs they are at risk for underage drinking and the physical signs that they are drinking underage. By being prepared, you can proactively engage with your children, and understand when you need to have these critical conversations.

Pulse Check

Finding the right time and place is one of the most pivotal parts of great dialogue. By asking some simple open-ended questions, you can truly get a pulse on if your child is in a good state of mind to have a conversation with you. Use the following examples as options to check the pulse of your child’s openness to conversation.

Note: If your child does not respond in a positive manner, it’s okay. Try asking a pulse check question another day.

Conversation Tips By Age

Middle School

Discussing underage drinking with middle schoolers is an important conversation. This is an age where they are being influenced by many factors and are being exposed to new habits and behaviors everyday. The goal is to have these conversions and talk about underage drinking before a child experiments with it or it becomes a problem. Here are some talking points:

  • Have you ever been to a friend’s house where their parents let them drink alcohol underage?
  • Do you have any questions on alcohol and the effects that it could have on your body or brain at this age?
  • Do you think our family has a healthy relationship with alcohol? Why?
  • What do you know about underage drinking? Have you heard or seen anything about it?
  • Can you share your thoughts on why some young people might be tempted to drink alcohol before they’re legally allowed?
  • If you are at a friend’s house and they offer you alcohol, what are some ways you can say no?
  • If you or one of your friends were in a situation where someone needed help because they had been drinking, what would you do?

High School

High school is a time where this conversation takes a more serious tone. The effects of underage drinking can be so much harsher in high school because these implications can leave them with life long consequences. It is important to have this conversation multiple times during this time of their lives. It is important to remember that it is common for kids at this age to feel pressure to drink alcohol and be around other kids that are doing it themselves and as parents we need to try our best to take a non-judgmental approach to the conversation.   

  • Do you think underage drinking is dangerous?
  • How common is underage drinking in your school or friend group? Have you ever felt pressure to drink alcohol?
  • Why do you think other people your age are drinking underage?
  • Have you ever been in a situation where someone around you was drinking underage? How did you feel?
  • Do you know any consequences of drinking alcohol underage? Do you know what an MIP is?
  • How do you think alcohol can affect your physical and mental health? Do you think it can affect your grades or ability to get into college?
  • Are you aware of legal consequences and potential risks associated with underage drinking and driving? Do you know what a DUI is?
  • Have you ever felt unsure about how to refuse alcohol if it was offered to you? What strategies do you think would be effective in those situations?
  • What role do you think parents and schools should play in educating young people about the dangers of underage drinking?
  • If you or your friends were at a party where people were drinking and you suspected someone had drank too much, what would you do to ensure their safety? 
  • What would you do if someone offered you a ride after they had been drinking? What if it is someone you know really well?
  • Do you feel like there could be social consequences to drinking underage? 
  • If you and your driver had too much to drink and couldn’t drive what could you do to get home safely?

Young Adult

During this time in your child’s life, they are going through many life changes and are experiencing pressure in regards to relationships, work, continued education and much more. The conversation shifts into thinking about what consequences or dangers underage drinking could potentially be associated with. As always, we want to come off non-judgmentally and help steward a productive conversation. We can be a resource for how to get out of scary situations, we can help our children create an exit strategy and use this as an opportunity to build trust so that if those situations occur, they will reach out to you for help. 

  • Do you think it is dangerous to drink alcohol underage? Why do you think people would choose to drink alcohol underage?
  • Have you ever been to a party where people are drinking underage and it has been supplied by people that are 21 or over?
  • What would you do if you are really uncomfortable drinking but your friends are encouraging you to do it? Can we walk through some strategies to get out of that situation? 
  • If you or your friends were at a party and you found yourself alone and under the influence, how could you safely get home?
  • Do you know the signs of someone who may have had their drink tampered with? What are some ways to prevent a drink from being tampered with? Do you feel comfortable telling me about any experiences you’ve had with alcohol? 
  • What are the effects of drinking underage? Physically? Mentally? Socially?
  • Are you aware of legal consequences and potential risks associated with underage drinking and driving? Do you know what a DUI is?
  • Do you feel like there could be social consequences to drinking underage? 
  • Do you feel a lot of peer pressure to drink at social events?

Action
Checklist

Our goal is to equip you with actionable steps to safeguard your children against the risks associated with underage drinking. This checklist provides a structured approach to address these critical issues. By being prepared, you can proactively engage with your children, establish trust, and promote responsible decision-making, ultimately helping to reduce the likelihood of underage drinking and its potential consequences.

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Action
Checklist

Our goal is to equip you with actionable steps to safeguard your children against the risks associated with underage drinking. This checklist provides a structured approach to address these critical issues. By being prepared, you can proactively engage with your children, establish trust, and promote responsible decision-making, ultimately helping to reduce the likelihood of underage drinking and its potential consequences.

Action
Checklist

Our goal is to equip you with actionable steps to safeguard your children against the risks associated with underage drinking. This checklist provides a structured approach to address these critical issues. By being prepared, you can proactively engage with your children, establish trust, and promote responsible decision-making, ultimately helping to reduce the likelihood of underage drinking and its potential consequences.

Need More Help?

All children are different, and as parents, we understand you are doing your best. It is okay if you don’t know how to deal with a situation and if through your conversation you find your child needs help, here are some local resources. Use the regional map to find assistance in your area, or please head to our contact page. If you are in an immediate crisis call or text 988.

Are You Ready To Talk To Your Child? Test Your Knowledge Here

Find Local Help

Resource Map

uintacountyprevention.com

Prevention Specialist: Kendra Safford

kendra.safford1@wyo.gov

Prevention Specialist: Andrew Tarrell
 

facebook.com/lccpartnership

Prevention Specialist: Brittany Wardle and Angela Vaughn

brittany.wardle@crmcwy.org

angela.vauhn@crmcwy.org

facebook.com/LincolnPreventingATODSAbuse

Prevention Specialist: Brittany Ritter

britter@lcwy.org

Anne Petroski

anne.petroski1@wyo.gov

The Comprehensive Community Coalition 

facebook.com/GoshenCountyPrevention

Prevention Specialist: Lynette Saucedo

lynettesaucedo@yahoo.com

subletterpreventioncoalition.org

Prevention Specialist: Trisha Scott

rebecca.crowe@wyo.gov

fremontcountyprevention.com

Prevention Specialist: Tauna Groomsmith

tauna.groomsmith@wyo.gov

Community Prevention Coalition of Teton County

https://www.facebook.com/CPCTetonCounty

Prevention Specialist: Beverly Shore

beverly.shore@wyo.gov

hotspringscountyprevention.org

Prevention Specialist: Jennifer Cheney

jcheney@hotsprings1.org

Campbell County Prevention Council:

campbellcountyprevention.org

Campbell County Suicide Prevention Coalition:

Prevention Specialist: 

Ashley.McRae@campbellcountywy.gov

21 Alliance Prevention Coalition

facebook.com/WestonCountyPrevention

Prevention Specialist: Kristi Lipp

klipp0204@gmail.com

Healthy Park County

healthyparkcounty.org

Prevention Specialist: Wendy Morris

wendy@healthyparkcounty.org

Big Horn County Prevention Alliance

facebook.com/BHCPrevention

Prevention Specialist: Travis Sylvester

travis@bhcprevention.com

Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention of Sheridan County

facebook.com/ASAPSheridanCounty

Sheridan County Suicide Prevention Coalition

Prevention Specialist: Ann Perkins

aperkins@sheridancounty.com