youth2

Youth

Alcohol is the top threat to youth health and safety. Underage drinking is an adult problem with youth consequences. Youth can use their voice to ask community adults to stop making alcohol so easy to get. Youth can take it back – be in charge of the change they want to see.

Making the Case: Youth

Why partner to reduce underage and youth binge drinking?

  • Alcohol harms and kills more youth than all illegal drugs, combined. For American youth under age 21; alcohol contributes to the top three causes of preventable death (murder, suicide, car crashes) and to preventable injuries from burns, drowning, assaults, STDs, and addiction. [National Survey on Drug Use and Health]
  • Too many consider underage and youth binge drinking a rite of passage to adulthood.Significant research has identified this adult belief and the belief that there is nothing adults can do to change youth drinking behaviors as contributing factors. Research also provides evidence of effectiveness for strategies that can be implemented by parents/adults. [U.S. Surgeon General’s Call to Action]
  • Youth who tell it like it is, are effective advocates for change. Youth don’t provide, promote or profit from alcohol – adults do. Youth who ask adults to help stop underage drinking have a positive impact and can effectively help limit youth access to alcohol.
  • Private home parties are the primary source by which youth obtain alcohol. Parties frequently lack adult supervision and are often a source for other drug use, risky sexual behaviors, violence and vandalism. [Public Health Report]

Read the full Case Statement for Youth.

A Snapshot of Annual High-Risk College Drinking Consequences

The consequences of excessive and underage drinking affect virtually all college campuses, college communities, and college students, whether they choose to drink or not.

  • Death:  1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes (Hingson et al., 2009).
  • Injury:  599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are unintentionally injured under the influence of alcohol (Hingson et al., 2009).
  • Assault:  696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking (Hingson et al., 2009).
  • Sexual Abuse:  97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape (Hingson et al., 2009).
  • Unsafe Sex: 400,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 had unprotected sex and more than 100,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report having been too intoxicated to know if they consented to having sex (Hingson et al., 2002).
  • Academic Problems: About 25 percent of college students report academic consequences of their drinking including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall (Engs et al., 1996; Presley et al., 1996a, 1996b; Wechsler et al., 2002).
  • Health Problems/Suicide Attempts: More than 150,000 students develop an alcohol-related health problem (Hingson et al., 2002), and between 1.2 and 1.5 percent of students indicate that they tried to commit suicide within the past year due to drinking or drug use (Presley et al., 1998).
  • Drunk Driving: 3,360,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 drive under the influence of alcohol (Hingson et al., 2009).
  • Vandalism: About 11 percent of college student drinkers report that they have damaged property while under the influence of alcohol (Wechsler et al., 2002).
  • Property Damage: More than 25 percent of administrators from schools with relatively low drinking levels and over 50 percent from schools with high drinking levels say their campuses have a “moderate” or “major” problem with alcohol-related property damage (Wechsler et al., 1995).
  • Police Involvement: About 5 percent of 4-year college students are involved with the police or campus security as a result of their drinking (Wechsler et al., 2002), and  110,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are arrested for an alcohol-related violation such as public drunkenness or driving under the influence (Hingson et al., 2002).
  • Alcohol Abuse and Dependence: 31 percent of college students met criteria for a diagnosis of alcohol abuse and 6 percent for a diagnosis of alcohol dependence in the past 12 months, according to questionnaire-based self-reports about their drinking (Knight et al., 2002)
Why should youth care about this problem?
  • Alcohol harms and kills more youth than all illegal drugs, combined. For American youth; alcohol contributes to the top three causes of preventable death (murder, suicide, car crashes) and to preventable injuries from burns, drowning, assaults, STDs, and addiction.[Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]
  • Youth don’t provide, promote or profit from alcohol – adults do. Youth who ask adults to help stop underage drinking have a positive impact and can effectively help limit youth access to alcohol.
How can youth help reduce underage and youth binge drinking?
  • Be an advocate for community change; challenge adult assumptions.
  • Join Cobb Alcohol Taskforce’s Youth Council and plan to attend the 2015 Youth Summit.
  • Ask to see school’s written policy, read it, talk about it with others, suggest improvements.
  • Partner with law enforcement in compliance check operations.
  • Partner with peers and adults to create alcohol-free events.
  • Partner with media; write series of articles on alcohol issues/topics that affect youth.
Where can I get support for my decision not to drink alcohol until I am 21?
  • Join the Cobb Alcohol Taskforce Youth Council. Contact coordinator@cobbat.org
How can I let adults about what’s really going on at parties?
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Youth CAN

  • Be an advocate for community change; challenge adult assumptions
  • Join Cobb Alcohol Taskforce’s Youth Council and make plans to attend the 2015 Youth Summit
  • Ask to see school’s written policy, read it, talk about it with others, suggest improvements
  • Partner with law enforcement in compliance check operations
  • Partner with peers and adults to create alcohol-free events
  • Partner with media; write series of articles on alcohol issues/topics that affect youth
  • Become a partner with Cobb Alcohol Taskforce
  • Consider a leadership position with the Cobb Alcohol Taskforce Youth Council  and subscribe to monthly e-news
  • Promote Cobb Safe Neighborhoods Safe Homes Campaign

Resources

  • Too Smart to Start Provides useful programs and strategies, downloadable materials, interactive games and exercises, and other resources for youth, families and educators.
  • Home of The Council on Alcohol and Drugs and portal to Georgia Underage Drinking Prevention Initiative.
  • FACE is a national non-profit organization that supports sensible alcohol policies and practices through the development of messages, strategies and training designed to create public awareness and action on alcohol issues.
  • Cobb County Public Schools Prevention Intervention Center offers Alcohol and Other Drug use and Violence Prevention trainings to schools, PTAs, students, and community groups, as well as other intervention and support services.
  • Created by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA),comprehensive research-based information on issues related to alcohol abuse and binge drinking among college students.
  • CADCA‘s mission is to build and strengthen the capacity of community coalitions to create safe, healthy and drug-free communities. Useful tools, resources, publications and training institutes.
  • Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth will help you learn more about industry marketing practices. Research, fact sheets and take action ideas.
  • Guide, Inc. plans and implements the Georgia Teen Institute (GTI) every summer.  GTI is a youth leadership program that provides training and year round follow-up for Youth Action Teams in Gwinnett and throughout Georgia.