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Check out the latest graphics from Rethink the Drink! Feel free to share these to help inspire yourself and your friends to live wisely and to rethink the drink!


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Behavior Check

Today on the blog, we wanted to help you check in on your behavior around alcohol. Answer these questions truthfully to yourself and if you say yes to several, you may have a serious alcohol misuse problem. If you do, tell someone and seek help. You don’t have to live dependent on alcohol!

>> Do you often find yourself drinking when you’re down or upset?

>> Do you drink more than 4 or 5 drinks right after another at parties or at home?

>> Do you drink out of a response to peer pressure?

>> Do you drink early in the day just to “get yourself through”?

>> Do you drink every day?

>> Do you find it difficult to stop drinking once you start?

If you have answered yes to one or several of these, you need to consider getting professional help to break your alcohol abuse habits. That could be a professional counselor, a 12 step program, or a residential treatment facility. Whatever you choose, find help that fits your needs and give yourself your best change at recovery! Alcoholic.Org has a terrific and helpful website with more information.

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5 Scary Alcohol Facts

Aalcoholchangesyoulcohol can be a deceptively dangerous drug. Because it is legal to drink at 21 in the U.S., and alcohol is so easily purchased, teens and adults can swiftly become addicted to it. Alcohol dependence can come with some very unpleasant side effects and consequences. Today on the blog, we’re sharing 5 of the scariest alcohol facts.

1) Alcohol poisoning — an overdose on alcohol in a very short period of time — can kill you even if you do receive immediate medical attention.

2) It is extremely difficult to overcome alcoholism once it is developed. However with professional help and support from wise friends, it is achievable.

3) Prolonged alcohol use can lead to the development of a host of mental and physical illnesses including cancer, depression, and liver disease.

4) Drinking while pregnant can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome.

5) Alcohol abuse can lead to violent behavior and can result in rape, murder, and other horrific acts.

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Alcohol Addiction Recovery Stories

Looking for some inspiration to live a sober life or to recover from alcohol addiction? Check out these resources!

>> About.com // Personal Alcohol and Drug Recovery Stories

>> Alcohol & Drug Abuse // Personal Recovery Stories

We encourage you to look at these stories. Don’t become a statistic. Rethink the drink. Make wise choices. Protect your body. After all, you only get one!

If you are a parent looking to take our survey, click here.

Want to connect with Rethink the Drink? Check us out on FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram, and our CPMA Website! “Like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Pinterest to show your pledge to rethink the drink.

Social Drinking Isn’t the Only Way Teens Abuse Alcohol

Many teens abuse alcohol for social reasons. They’ve got peer pressure to contend with. It’s seen as “something fun to do”. What many teens don’t know (and tragically some do), drinking alone can be an even bigger problem. Teens who drink alone usually do so because they are depressed or unhappy with their lives and social situations. As many people soon find out, drinking divorced from social situations can quickly become anything but fun. While alcohol may take the edge off of turbulent emotions, teens who drink alone usually consume more than they would in social situations over time. This can cause severe averse effects in the body and can further isolate those teens from their peers.

According to this ABC News Article, solitary drug users can have devastating effects on their futures:

Moreover, solitary smokers and drinkers were also less likely to graduate from college and more likely to engage in violent behavior, according to the study.

If you are a parent or teen who has loved ones who drink alone, urge them to seek help from local substance abuse counselors, organizations, or their doctors.  If YOU are a teen who drinks alone, find someone you implicitly trust and ask for their help. Remember, you don’t have to fall victim to drug and alcohol addiction! Make wise choices!

The Effects of Alcohol on a Teenage Brain

It is fairly common knowledge that alcohol has an effect on a person’s behavior. After 1 to several drinks, your speech might be slurred, you might feel sleepy, your face may become flushed…Clearly alcohol is affecting your body in some way. For adults who drink casually (1 or 2 drinks socially every now and then) these behavioral and bodily effects may not be a problem long-term. However, for those who binge drink or who drink heavily often, alcohol can have a direct effect on the brain and its development–especially in growing brains, namely the brains of teens, children, and babies whose mothers drank heavily while pregnant. The human brain continues to actively develop through the a person’s early 20s. Continued, heavy alcohol abuse throughout pregnancy or childhood and teenage years can actively impair proper brain development.

The Effects of Alcohol on a Teenage Brain:

>> Long-term averse effects on motor skills, memory, coordination, learning ability, and thinking

>> Impaired equilibrium and coordination which can increase the chances of risky behavior that could result in death (namely, driving while under the influence)

>> Potential inhibition of the brain’s ability to completely generate cells in its normal renewal processes

>> Chance of blackouts

>> Because the brain’s impulse control systems become used to alcohol intake, there is an increased risk of developing alcoholism more quickly in life with continued heavy drinking

You might be thinking as a teen, “Well, I’ll just keep my alcohol consumption low. One to two drinks on the weekends won’t hurt, right?” It just may. MADD.org stresses that “teens who drink half as much as adults” can still develop the negative effects listed above.

Next time you’re considering drinking at a party or indulging alone, think about what the alcohol is potentially doing to your developing brain and body!


>> National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

>> The Effects of Alcohol on a Teen’s Body

>> Some Negative Effects of Alcohol on Brain Function

>> MADD: Alcohol and the Teen Brain

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse

Bartow+Ad+3.792x5_1colorMost underage drinkers and even adult drinkers often indulge for social reasons. Alcohol can lower your inhibitions and make you feel good, free, and buzzed. But what many adult and most underage drinkers don’t understand is how easy it is to abuse alcohol. Because alcohol lowers your inhibitions, it can be terribly easy to have one too many drinks far too often–especially if you don’t have the accountability that maturity and wise friends can give you. If you’re at a party drinking with other teenagers, chances are, you’re not very concerned about limiting yourself to one drink– as a more moderation-conscientious adult might do.

But what is that second, third, fourth, fifth drink doing to your body? If you’re indulging in alcoholic drinks as a teen or indulging in too many drinks as an adult, you could be heading towards alcohol abuse–the first BAD roadblock on the way to alcoholism. What is alcohol abuse?

“Alcohol abuse is defined as a pattern of drinking that can affect social and emotional responsibilities and even result in legal problems. When a person abuses alcohol, his or her drinking habits can harm his or her health or cause injury to the abuser or others.” From Lakeview Health Systems

PARENTS and FRIENDS: What are some signs of alcohol or drug abuse to look for in your children, friends,  or fellow teens:

>> The odor of alcohol can be found on their breath

>> Frequent changes in mood or attitude that may coincide with avoidance and hiding behaviors

>> Loss of interest in previous activities

>> Developmental difficulties arise

>> They seem depressed and secretive

>> Alcohol disappears from their home

>> An increase in party behavior

Isolated signs may not be an indication of alcohol abuse, but if many of these signs are seen together, try talking with your child or friend about their activities. Be open to what they have to say, but firm about the fact that abusing alcohol to cope with emotions or to fit into a social group can seriously harm their health, result in death, or ruin their emotional well-being. Most teens are aware of the dangers that alcohol can bring, but be sure to remind them of these risks.

What can parents do to help their child avoid alcohol abuse?

>> Be aware of where your teens are hanging out

>> Meet your teen’s friends and only allow them to associate with those whom you feel comfortable with and who are a good influence

>> Set curfews and limits on their independent activity

>> Know the parents of your teen’s friends

>> Encourage your teen to make independent, wise choices for their health and well-being

>> Have your child text you periodically if they are away from home for an extended period of time to check in with you.

Helpful resources on this subject: Dangers to Your Health: Alcohol Abuse // Kids and Alcohol // Stop Underage Drinking