How can parents prevent alcohol use?
Clear communication by parents about the negative effects of alcohol, as well as about their expectations regarding drug use, has been found to significantly decrease teenage drinking. Adequate parental supervision has also been found to be a deterrent to alcohol use in youth. Alcohol, and other drug use, has been found to occur most often between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., immediately after school and prior to parents' arrival at home from work. Teen participation in extracurricular activities has therefore been revealed to be an important measure in the prevention of alcohol use in this age group. Parents can also help educate teens about appropriate coping and stress-management strategies. For example, 15- to 16-year-olds who use religion to cope with stress tend to use drugs significantly less often and have less problems as a result of drinking than their peers who do not use religion to cope. Since effective treatment of teen depression can be a deterrent to alcohol use, parents who seek help for their depressed teen in a timely manner can also help prevent their adolescent from engaging in underage drinking.