Where is My Teen Getting Alcohol From?

It’s not uncommon to hear stories in the media, in movies or even in your personal life about teens drinking, often excessively, at parties. But if the drinking age is 21 in the United States, you might be wondering how teens are getting their hands on alcohol. Of course, there are a variety of ways teens may be obtaining it, but here are a few common ones to be aware of.

  • Directly From Parents: Some teens get alcohol directly from their parents. There are a variety of reasons why this might be the case including lack of understanding around the negative impact alcohol has on teens or the belief that their children are safer if they receive alcohol from a secure source and drink it in a secure environment.
  • Theft: For parents or others who have open and easily accessible liquor cabinets, teens might be stealing from this supply without anyone realizing it.
  • Older Friends or Siblings: Another way that teens might have access to alcohol is if they have older friends or siblings who can purchase it legally for them.
  • Fake IDs: Studies show that approximately 25 percent of cases of underage drinking are a result of fake identifications. This allows teens to purchase alcohol on their own by using identification that states their age incorrectly.
  • Open Access in Social Situations: Alternatively, your teen might not be participating in any of the above activities, but they might be in a social situation where alcohol is made available because someone else has. In other words, it’s difficult to control where teens get alcohol from, but you can help to keep them safe by encouraging open communication and educating them on the risks and responsibilities of alcohol consumption.

Feature image TMAB2003