The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism notes that students, especially those on college campuses, engage in drinking excessive amounts of alcohol in a short period of time also known as binge drinking. An estimated 37.9% of students binge drink. In Wicomico County, 2016 data shows that 12.7% of local students engage in binge drinking.
Helpful Tips for Talking with Teens about Alcohol
1. Talk candidly about alcohol, set expectations, and enforce rules. If you suspect binge drinking, talk to the person directly. Be objective, don’t shame them.
2. Set realistic consequences and follow through on your ultimatum.
3. Help your teen find alternatives by helping them connect with supportive peers that don’t drink.
4. Model appropriate behavior yourself – Don’t overindulge and don’t model alcohol as a stress reliever. Don’t provide alcohol to those underage.
The Wicomico County Health Department is also holding focus groups with local teens, young adults (college-aged), and their parents to create a media campaign about binge drinking. This campaign would spread awareness about what binge drinking is and how to prevent it. Teens, young adults, and parents of teens/young adults interested in participating in these focus groups, should contact Cindy Shifler at (410) 219-7544.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an alcohol abuse disorder, you can find help at www.aa.org or by calling the Wicomico County Health Department’s Addictions Program at (410) 742-3784. Connect with us online at www.wicomicohealth.org or by following us on Facebook, Instagram (WicomicoHealth) or Twitter (@WicomicoHealth).