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July 9, 2014

An Addiction is the continued repetition of a behavior despite adverse consequences, according to Wikipedia.

Addictions we can conclude are for the most part not good.

Now consider this: Analyses of data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions show that people who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence during their lifetime than those who began drinking at age 21 or later. This has even been shown for identical twins who share the same genetics, but begin drinking at different ages.

Underage drinkers of alcohol are 4 times more likely to become addicted than adults!

KVOE has been running commercials from the Regional Prevention Center recently talking about alcohol and minors. These ads repeat things parents say to justify letting their kids drink like – I drank when I was that age, It’s only beer, We want our kids to be liked. These ads also talk about the legal ramifications of providing alcohol to minors. Good spots with great information.

The potential for a lifetime addiction associated with underage drinking makes a strong case for helping kids stay clear from booze.

So, how you ask can this happen with so many opportunities for kids to drink?

Amazingly the best and most successful manner by which youngsters can be convinced to wait until they are legal to drink alcohol involves their parents!

Parents are the most influential people in the lives of children. Kids are programmed to please their parents and react to requests coming from of their parents. This is a fact!

So, if you don’t want your underage child to drink – try asking them not to do so. Talk with them. Educate yourself so you can make the case. Facts like 2/3 of kids making mostly A’s and B’s don’t drink while over half the kids failing do drink are compelling.

Consider that over 5,000 youth die annually from vehicle crashes, homicides and suicides that involve underage drinking.

And probably the most important thing parents can do for their children is be good role models – especially as it relates to the use of alcohol. This doesn’t mean parents can’t drink or shouldn’t drink in front of their kids, but it does mean not making alcohol the center piece of their lives.

Probably said enough, but if this made you uncomfortable that’s good. Anyway you cut it underage drinking has no redeeming qualities and lots of perils so why encourage it? Why?

I’m Steve Sauder.