The legal age to drink alcohol is 21 years old, yet many teens try alcohol much earlier and for several reasons:
- As a way to fit in or they feel the need to give in to peer pressure.
- They like the way drinking alcohol makes them feel, unaware of the strong addicting effect alcohol has on their adolescent brain.
- They feel that drinking alcohol makes them more grown up, parents may even feed into this fallacy by providing alcohol, thinking it is a rite of passage.
Although we may think that it is “only” alcohol, it is important to remember that alcohol is a powerful mood-altering drug. Teen’s minds and bodies are in developing stages and potentially fragile to the effects of alcohol. Teens also lack judgement and coping skills to handle alcohol wisely, putting them at a higher risk for sexual violence, aggression, motor vehicle accidents and mental illness (depression/anxiety/suicide).