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How do you think your Idaho teen would answer these questions?

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How do you think your Idaho teen would answer these questions?

How do you think your Idaho teen would answer these questions?

The Idaho Department of Education recently released results of its 2015 survey that asked Idaho high school students about their drinking, smoking, and other health-related habits. The survey was completed by almost 1,800 9th–12th graders in 48 high schools around Idaho.

Here are a few of the notable results about alcohol use:

  • 16% rode in a vehicle during the past 30 days driven by someone who had
    been drinking alcohol.
  • 28% drank alcohol on one or more of the past 30 days (i.e., current alcohol drinker).
  • 15% drank alcohol for the first time before age 13 (other than a few sips).
  • 16% drank 5 or more alcoholic drinks in a row (within a couple of hours) on
    one or more occasions during the past 30 days.
  • 58% have drunk alcohol in their lifetimes.

Looking at these numbers another way, almost one in three high school students have had alcohol in the last 30 days and more than half have drunk alcohol at some point, period. That could mean that in your child’s friend group, some of them are likely drinking.

So, what can you do to make sure your child isn’t at risk for the dangers associated with underage drinking?

  1. Learn the risks and discuss them with your child.
  2. Let your child know you expect them not to drink, and set consequences for breaking the rules.
  3. Stay engaged! Eat dinner together three times a week, spend at least 15 minutes of one-on-one time each day, and plan family time throughout the week. Kids who feel close to their families are less likely to drink!
  4. Provide “cool” alcohol-free fun for your t(w)een and their friends.
  5. Make sure your child is engaged in a favorite hobby or two. Kids with a passion are more likely to focus on their activities than negative behaviors like underage drinking!

You can download the survey results PDF here.

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