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This Holiday Season, Teach Your Kids the Science of How Drinking Alcohol Can Hurt Them
Date:12/6/2007

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- As adolescents get ready to attend holiday parties, it's time for parents to have "The Talk" with them about why they shouldn't drink alcohol. Teens are constantly exercising their independence and individuality, and peer pressure is fierce. If their friends are drinking alcohol, chances are your teens will be too.

Even when parents are present at parties, there are no guarantees. According to a study last year by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, one-third of the teens surveyed had attended house parties where parents were present and teens were drinking. Fourteen-year olds were three times more likely than 13-year olds to attend such parties.

So giving your young teen "The Talk" is more important than ever. The Science Inside Alcohol Project, an alcohol education effort from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, suggests that parents try a new approach to curb teen drinking this holiday season. Provide kids with the scientific evidence behind why drinking alcohol can hurt them.

Adolescents believe they are invincible, which is perfectly normal developmentally. So remember to link what you are saying as closely as possible to their personal experiences. Here are five questions parents can ask and answer for their kids to explain alcohol's dangers.

1) Are kids who begin drinking before the age of 21 more likely to become alcoholics?

Yes. Almost half of all kids who begin drinking at age 14 or younger become alcohol dependent at some point in their lives. Less than ten percent of people who begin drinking over the age of 21 become alcoholics.

2) What are three important body organs that alcohol can harm?

Your liver: Alcohol can harm the liver's ability to remove poisons, germs and bacteria from blood as well as produce immune agents to control infection. If you drink alcohol it weakens your immune system and you are
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SOURCE American Association for the Advancement of Science
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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