The Alcohol Reality

This page is part of our School Newsletter Inserts section.
Use these short articles in your school newsletters throughout the school year.

Alcohol is generally seen as an acceptable drink in our society. The reality is that alcohol is the drug most often used by youth and is harmful in many ways. Alcohol can negatively impact brain development, since the brain is not fully developed until about 24 years of age. It also slows down reflexes, movement and the brain’s ability to think and make good choices.

The 2012 Halton Youth Survey showed that 11% of Grade 7 students and 50% of Grade 10 students in Halton Region reported using alcohol during the last 12 months. However, students who report higher levels of parental nurturing and monitoring (where they are and who they are with) reported less alcohol use. These findings support other research that promotes the importance of family connectedness and positive relationships with parents in reducing alcohol use in youth.

To support positive relationships with youth, parents should:

  • Use teachable moments, like when conversations about alcohol arise on the news, TV shows, movies, or radio.
  • Be good role models. (See Canada’s Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines (external link)).
  • Take an interest in your teen. Ask “Where are you going? What are you doing? With whom?”
  • Involve your teen in setting rules and determining responsibilities.
  • Help your teen plan ahead by talking about situations they might encounter, potential risks, and how to deal with difficult situations.