Recovery: Summer Safety Tips for Teens and Alcohol

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Summer is a great time for outdoor activities with friends and families, but also is peak time for teens to try drugs and alcohol.

In fact, more teens start drinking and smoking both tobacco and marijuana in June and July than any other months. On each of those summer days, more than 11,000 teens across our country use alcohol for the first time, according to SAMHSA.

“Parents need to know summertime is when teens are more likely to start smoking, drinking and using drugs,” said Alexandra Duff, prevention coordinator for Talbot County Health Department. “And when a teen uses alcohol, they can become impaired much faster than someone older – that can lead to poor choices.”

In a county like Talbot, which has more than 600 miles of shoreline, underage drinking can lead to tragic consequences. Nationally, up to 70 percent of water recreation deaths of teens and adults involve the use of alcohol, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

And on the roads, nearly twice as many teens die in highway crashes every day in the summer compared to the rest of the year.

To keep summer fun and healthy, talk with your teens about the dangers of alcohol. Research suggests parents are the most important factor in keeping teens safe – and the conversations are most effective before a teen starts drinking.

Here are a few tips for keeping your teen safe and healthy this summer:

Set clear rules about alcohol use and consequences.
Supervise teens as much as possible.
Remind your teen to never ride in a car or boat with a driver who is under the influence.
Lead by example – show that summer fun doesn’t have to include alcohol.

Get more tips and resources online at www.samhsa.gov.

To learn more about how to prevent alcohol and drug abuse in your child, contact Alexandra Duff, Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention Coordinator at Talbot County Health Department, at 410-819-5600.

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