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Use science to convince teens a sober prom is better, AAAS says
Date:5/20/2009

Washington, D.C. -- This is the time of year when even teens who have never tried a drop of alcohol may be tempted. Middle and high school proms and graduation are big events and there will be multiple parties to attend and a wide array of opportunities for alcohol to be served.

Assume that your child will be tempted to drink alcohol at the end of the school year, advises the Science Inside Alcohol Project of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). So start talking to your child about alcohol right now.

Instead of just asking your teen not to drink, the Science Inside Alcohol Project suggests explaining how alcohol can affect his or her body. Here are five ways alcohol can ruin prom night or graduation:

  1. They May Not Remember - Teens spend months preparing for prom and graduation and cherish those memories throughout their lives. But if they drink, there's a good chance they may not remember any of it. The hippocampus, or the area in the brain that stores memory, is still maturing in teens. Drinking even small amounts of alcohol can make kids forget what they did while drinking and even black-out completely.

  2. They May Do Things They Don't Want to Do Alcohol helps release inhibitions, and teens who drink may indulge in risky behaviors such as unprotected sex or drunk driving. The brain's prefrontal cortex, which is involved in planning and decision-making, does not completely mature until a person's mid-to-late twenties. Using alcohol can harm a teen's ability to reason and weigh options instead of just doing something because it is fun or feels good.

  3. They May Get Into Fights Research shows that teens who drink are often more violent than those who do not. For example, 7th graders who drank averaged almost twice as many violent behaviors as those who didn't, according to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A report from Ormond Street Hospital i
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Contact: Aimee Stern
aimee@sterncommdc.com
202-744-5004
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Source:Eurekalert

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