You may think that binge drinking amongst the young is the stuff of trash television and teenage films, but kids in the USA are starting as young as 12, and the under 21s are responsible for the consumption of approximately 11% of all alcohol consumed across the country, and usually in binge sessions.

Alcohol Awareness Month is the perfect time to examine alcohol use and misuse, and there’s nothing better this April than using the month to say a firm “No”. Now in its 29th year, the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (NCADD) are focusing on the young in 2015, and state and nationwide events will focus on the very young, educating children about the dangers of alcohol abuse.

Battling alcohol issues in the young can be more confusing than for an adult, but much of the same applies in terms of seeking help:

  • Talk it out – find a trusted adult, parent, or teacher who can talk through what excess drinking might mean without passing judgment.

  • Take up activities as a distraction – if the stresses of the classroom are leading to alcohol abuse, extra sports or out of school activities will help with one of the major causes of turning to alcohol for young people; having nothing to do.

  • Effect on teens – Teenagers who drink to excess before they’ve even left school are four times more likely to be dependent on alcohol once they reach adulthood. Alcohol dependency support groups aren’t just for adults, and can help young people that need dedicated support.

The seeds of addiction are often there in childhood and the early teens, even before children have sampled drugs or alcohol, so looking out for signs of withdrawn or unusual behavior will help you to give your children the confidence they may need to seek help.