Teens & Alcohol

Not all kids in Maine drink, yet because they live in an environment that heavily promotes and enables alcohol use, all teens are at risk. A 2008 statewide survey reported that 48.8% of Maine students in grades seven through 12 have tried alcohol. (1) In addition, 28.2% of the teens said they drank within one month of the survey, and 14.0% reported binge drinking (five or more alcoholic beverages in a row) within two weeks of the study. More importantly, 49.2% of teens don't believe their parents would find out if they were drinking. According to the survey results, they're probably right. Only 21% of Maine parents believe their teen has tried alcohol (2).

Some people believe that if the drinking age were lower, like in Europe, teens would drink less. This article by Aaron White, PhD, a leading national researcher in the prevention field addresses this issue: "Should Parents Follow the European Model?" (PDF)

(1) 2008 Maine Youth Drug and Alcohol Use Survey (MYDAUS) of Maine 7th - 12th grade students.

(2) Conducted by Strategic Marketing Services on behalf of the Maine Office of Substance Abuse

Your Teen and Alcohol: A Guide for Maine Parents (PDF 1.9 MB)
20 page booklet, 2008

Documents in PDF format require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them. Printouts of these documents are also available upon request.