Knowing the Facts

Kids and alcohol don’t mix

Make no mistake: tweens are exposed to alcohol, and they are curious about it. Before they are presented with the option to drink or not drink, it is crucial to arm them with the information they need to make the right decisions. Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix provides you with information and practical tips on how to talk to teens about alcohol. They need to know that not only does alcohol affect their developing brains, but it’s also illegal to consume before the age of 21. It is important to have these conversations early and often, building a strong relationship with your kids so the conversations about responsibility continue as they grow up.

Our research shows that most parents (93%) have spoken to their kids at least once in the past year about alcohol consumption, and that these conversations are working. Over the past 20 years, current underage drinking rates have decreased 53%.

Access our infographic, Caregivers: Don’t Underestimate the Power of Conversations, and keep up the good work engaging in conversations and modeling responsible behaviors.

The Facts

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Conversations are happening! 93% of parents have spoken with their kids about the dangers of drinking alcohol in the past year. (, APCO Insights, March 2023)

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Conversations matter! Over the past 20 years, conversations between kids and parents about alcohol have increased 42% (, APCO Insights, March 2023). During this same time, current underage drinking rates have decreased 53%. (Monitoring the Future, 2022)

Statistics About Kids and Underage Drinking

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55% of kids believe they will be faced with a decision regarding drinking or not drinking alcohol within the next year. (, APCO Insights, March 2023)

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1-in-5 youth (22%) report they have been offered alcohol, and 21% say they have attended a party where alcohol was served or available. (, APCO Insights, March 2023)

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According to the 2022 Monitoring the Future study, 42 percent of 8th grade students think it is “fairly easy” or “very easy” to access alcohol. These numbers increase with age, as the percentage grows to 59% among 10th graders and 78% among 12th graders.

Parents Are The Leading Influence

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Forty-eight percent of parents feel comfortable or confident (twenty-six percent of parents feel comfortable and 22 percent feel confident) in approaching their kids to discuss underage drinking.  (, APCO Insights, March 2023)

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Among 10-18 year olds, seven percent report in the past year they “never” had a conversation with their parents about the dangers of alcohol. (, APCO Insights, March 2023)

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More than half of parents (52%) say they need information on the health effects of underage drinking to continue to have meaningful conversations about underage drinking. (, APCO Insights, March 2023)

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One-third (33%) of 10-18 year olds report their parents as the leading influence in their decision about drinking or not drinking alcohol. (, APCO Insights, March 2023)

> Read Next Making Healthy Choices

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