Too Much, Too Soon (

It is possible to drink legally and safely— when a person is 21 or older and drinks in fairly small amounts. But if you’re under 21 —or if you drink too much at any age—alcohol can be especially risky.
Just a few of the dangers of underage drinking:

Thinking Problems
Your brain is still developing throughout the teen years. New research on teens with alcohol disorders shows that heavy drinking in the teen years can cause long-lasting harm to thinking abilities.

The younger you are when you start drinking, the greater your chance of becoming addicted to alcohol at some point in your life. More than 4 in 10 people who begin drinking before age 15 eventually become alcoholic.

Drinking under age 21 is against the law. Penalties can include not getting a drivers license on time, having the license removed for driving with any trace of alcohol in the body, losing a job, and losing a college scholarship.

Each year, an estimated 5,000 people under the age of 21 dies from alcohol related injuries. Alcohol is a factor in about 4 out of every 10 deaths from car crashes, drownings, burns, falls and other unintentional injuries.

Drinking too soon or too much can:

    • affect your mood and your thinking
    • hurt others, get you in legal trouble, and damage your relationships
    • harm your body now and when you grow up
    • get you hooked

When someone pressures you with words—particularly when it involves alcohol – it can be difficult to resist. Most people don’t want to risk making others feel bad, but it’s important to stand up for yourself. Check out these strategies for dealing with spoken pressure.


    • Say no assertively
    • Stay alcohol free
    • Suggest something else to do
    • Stand up for others
    • Walk away from the situation
    • Find something else to do with other friends


    • Attend a party unprepared to resist alcohol
    • Be afraid to say no
    • Mumble
    • Say no too aggressively
    • Act like a know-it-all when saying no

If you want to resist, you’ll need to stay in control of the situation and, of course, stay alcohol free (or free of whatever the pressure may be). There are several ways to say no, but one is more effective than the others.

Sometimes you can feel pressure just from watching how others act or dress, without them saying a word to you. This "unspoken pressure" is especially hard to resist, because instead of standing up to a friend, you're standing up to how you feel inside.
Unspoken pressure may come from role models like your parents, your older siblings, teachers, coaches, or celebrities you see in movies and on TV. Unspoken pressure may also come from peers—your friends or other people your age. If you are concerned about the drinking of someone close to you, visit Real Life.
Here are some tips for resisting unspoken pressure:

    • Take a reality check—most teens don’t drink
    • Remember it’s risky—alcohol can be dangerous
    • Walk away from the situation
    • Find something else to do with other friends

By age 18, about 1 in 4 children in the U.S. has lived with a family member who has an alcohol problem.
Do you think someone close to you has an alcohol problem? Do you have a problem with drinking? Either way, there’s no need to go it alone. You need help right now and several organizations are ready to lend a hand. Don’t worry; they’re there to help you. You won’t get in trouble or blamed for anything.

For more info, check out:

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