Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug by youth in the U. S., but statistics related to young people in New Mexico are even more troubling.
For example, New Mexico currently ranks first in the nation for children who consume their first alcoholic drink prior to the age of 13; 51% of youth say a friend either got or bought alcohol for them, and 86% say they drink in their own or someone else’s home. Figures such as these are predictors of serious problems. Research shows that alcohol use among youth is strongly associated with suicide, and alcohol-related costs in the state total more than $243 million each year.
The negative effects of underage alcohol consumption can last for years. In fact, alcohol can actually create permanent damage. The dangers of alcohol consumption and the importance of individuality must be taught at an early age in order to counter peer pressure and inform the youth that they do not have to prove their worth in social settings. Young people should also be encouraged to become more socially conscious, to step forward and take action against abuses, and to help educate future generations about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.
Visit zeroproofnm.com for more ways to battle underage drinking.