Learn more about teens and alcohol from your D.A.R.E. officer or from our Alcohol Fact Sheet (PDF).
D.A.R.E. Box Questions
Aren't beer and wine safer than hard liquor?
No. One 12-ounce beer has about as much alcohol as a 1.5-ounce shot of hard liquor, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or a wine cooler.
Why can't teens drink if their parents can?
Teens' bodies are still developing and alcohol has a greater impact on their physical and mental well-being. For example, people who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcoholism than those who begin at age 21.
How can I say no to alcohol? I'm afraid I won't fit in.
Remember, you're in good company. The majority of teens don't drink alcohol. Also, it's not as hard to refuse as you might think. Try saying "no thanks," "I don't drink," or "I'm not interested."
How can you tell if a friend has a drinking problem?
Sometimes it's tough to tell, but there are signs you can look for. If your friend has one or more of the following warning signs, he or she may have a problem with alcohol:
- Getting drunk on a regular basis
- Lying about how much alcohol he or she is using
- Believing that alcohol is necessary to have fun
- Having frequent hangovers
- Feeling run down, depressed, or even suicidal
- Having blackouts - forgetting what he or she did while drinking
- Having problems at school or getting in trouble with the law