Tips for Parents on How to Prevent Teens from Getting Alcohol

Categories: Alcohol, News, Parenting, Prevention

As we discussed in our last post, parents play a major role in their children’s choices about alcohol. According to three years of data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 34% of youth aged 12-14 who drank alcohol in the past month got the alcohol they drank for free from a person under 21-years-old or from an unrelated adult. These social sources of alcohol make up the second most frequent source of alcohol for underage youth.

So, how can parents prevent their teens from getting alcohol from peers or other adults? Although parents tend to become less involved with their children in the teen years, research shows that teens whose parents stay involved in their lives and activities, even when they are older, are much less likely to use alcohol.

Parents can prevent their teens from getting alcohol by:

  • Talking to teens frequently about the dangers of underage drinking;
  • Asking teens where they are going and who they will be with;
  • Checking that teens are where they say they will be; and
  • Staying in touch by spending time together.

Parent involvement makes a big difference. To learn more about reducing underage alcohol use, visit, or Time to Talk (for non-Mainers).

Information provided by MAPSA, in recognition of Alcohol Awareness Month.

2 thoughts on “Tips for Parents on How to Prevent Teens from Getting Alcohol

  1. Here are some of the things you should be doing to protect your kids: Know where they are, who they are with, and what they are doing. Encourage your child to participate in adult-supervised activities after school or during the summer. Since unsupervised time along is a big risk factor, if your child doesn’t participate in these activities, set strict expectations for their activities including household chores, rules about who can come over, and policies about calling to check in with you. Check in with your child regularly about their experiences, school, friends, and other topics. Address problems and concerns as they come up. Be awake and interact with your children when they come home. If they are staying overnight at a friend’s house, talk with the host parents. Ask if alcohol or tobacco is allowed. Ask who will supervise. Tell your child you will be checking up on them and then do it. Don’t assume your child is immune to the temptation to experiment. Substance use happens in all kinds of families. Be knowledgeable and proactive about the risks. Monitor their use of social media.

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