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Teenage Alcoholism: Stop Teenage Drinking and Driving Now!

Posted Jan 11 2011 8:17pm

stopdrunkdriving Teenage Alcoholism: Stop Teenage Drinking and Driving Now! WARNING! This blog post contains extremely graphic material.

The number one cause of death in teens and young adults, 15-20 years old, is drinking and driving.  In 2008, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 37,261 people died in traffic crashes of which an estimated 11,773 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes.

Here are some drinking and driving statistics and a haunting video that you should consider showing your teen. It is a VERY GRAPHIC video. As a psychiatrist that treats teenage alcoholism and teenage drug abuse, anything that parents and the schools can do to prevent teenage drinking and driving accidents should be done.

32% of car crash fatalities are alcohol-related. In other words, in the U.S., a person dies every 45 minutes in an alcohol-related car crash. Even if you think your son or daughter has the sense not to drink and drive, ask yourself, would my teen get in the car with a friend who has been drinking? Unfortunately, teens who drink often drive with a friend “under the influence”.

The following video includes parts that are relevant to teenage drinking and driving. The video was made years ago and was shown in Australia as a public service announcement . It was put together by the “Transportation Accident Commission” of Australia. WARNING: It is very intense and graphic. Consider showing this to your teen or young adult before a big party such as New Year’s Eve , graduation, or their prom.

Teenage alcoholism often starts with teenage binge drinking at social events and may end up costing your teen’s life  or someone else’s life if a drinking and driving accident occurs.

“Put your seatbelt on and watch this video…”

Drinking alcohol impairs judgment and slows down reflexes. Mixing drugs with alcohol (including prescription drugs) intensifies the effects of both. Teenage drug use and teenage alcoholism go hand in hand.

Parents and schools should do everything they can to discourage teenage drinking and driving. This type of education combined with a good communication with your teen may be life-saving. Talk to your teen about the dangers of drinking and driving. Model what you teach.

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