Are times changing? Research is showing a significant increase in use of alcohol by girls ages 12 to 17. The situation may require some special attention and Connect with Kids offers some great advice on this topic.
Source: Connect with Kids
Girls Are Drinking More
“I think because of this pressure the girls find that alcohol lessons their inhibition. It also represses their emotion and anxieties and fears about it.”
– Annie Prescott, Ph.D., psychologist
Every October, girls and boys around the country celebrate Red Ribbon Week – and learn about the realities of substance abuse. Until recently it was thought that underage drinkers were mostly boys, but research is showing a significant increase in use of alcohol by girls ages 12 to 17. The situation may require some special attention.
In fact, a growing number of studies show that girls are now drinking more than boys. But why?
“Girls kind of drink more ’cause they try to fit in more, cause they’re so worried about fitting in and everything so yeah,” says Ally, 13.
Experts say there is more pressure on girls than ever before to be good athletes, to get good grades, and, at the same time, be popular, beautiful, and sexy.
“I think because of this pressure the girls find that alcohol lessons their inhibition. It also represses their emotion and anxieties and fears about it,” says Annie Prescott, Ph.D., psychologist.
“They want the guys attention, they want to show them they are cool and stuff,” says Diane.
Experts say teen girls need to be busy with activities that reinforce their worth, their identity separate from alcohol and sex and boys.
“Such as sports and church activities, music, art, dance and activities where there’s some social groups that don’t promote this type of acting out,” says Prescott. “I’m talking about being a detective. That you are following up with them, are they actually where they say they’re going to be. So they know that they have to be accountable,” says Prescott.
The Partnership for a Drug-Free America suggest the following conversation starters:
- “I’m not trying to ruin your fun. I love you and I want you to stay healthy. The best way to do that is to stay completely away from drugs and alcohol. I need you to promise that you will.”
- “I realize there’s a lot of temptation out there. I also know you’re a really smart, strong person. That’s why I expect you to stay clean — no matter what your friends are doing. Agreed?”
- “There’s a lot of new science about teens, drugs and alcohol. It scares me to know how easily you could damage your brain or get addicted. We want your word that you’ll steer clear of all that, and keep me in the loop on the kids you hang out with, too.”