|Alcohol: When Tweens and Teens Drink
It isn't just adults who have drinking problems. Teens, and even students in middle and elementary school, can get into trouble with alcohol. Movie star Drew Barrymore, in her book "Little Girl Lost," wrote about the misery of being an alcoholic before she turned 14! You may even have friends in school who have started experimenting with alcohol.
A friend might have a problem with alcohol (or other drugs) if he or she:
What should you do if you think a friend is drinking? Try these steps:
When It's You
Think about the law. It's against the law to drink if you are under 21. You could be arrested, and so could whoever bought or gave you the alcohol.
Think about your health. Drinking can seriously damage your brain and body, especially at this time when you're still growing.
Think about your life. Drinking can cause depression, anger, and violence, and make you do badly in school. It makes it harder, not easier, to deal with your problems. It even gives you bad breath!
Talk about it. If you're drinking, or thinking about it, find an adult you can talk to. If you don't think your parent would understand, or if you're afraid they will be too angry to listen, try a teacher or school counselor. Make sure you explain that you want help, and you're not sure where to find it.
Explore your reasons. Think about more than just the alcohol…think about WHY you might want to drink it. Is it because your friends are drinking? Because you think it's grown-up? You'll be more likely to stop drinking if you know why you want to start in the first place. And remember this:
Whatever reason you think you have to drink, there's a
Write about it. Keep a journal for your thoughts and emotions. Print out the IML Journal page: Alcohol and write down your thoughts about drinking.
Find other ways to deal with problems and stress. Play a sport. Write a story. Draw a picture. Write a song. Think about how you can turn your negative emotions into positive actions!