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Alcohol and Underage Drinking

In Pennsylvania, it’s against the law to provide alcohol to anyone under 21, even your own kids or in your own home. It’s important to remember that no amount of alcohol, no matter the setting, is safe for a minor. And as parents or caregivers, you have more influence on your teen than you think. Talk to them – set clear rules and make your values known. 

Have you been thinking that maybe you or a friend have been drinking too much? Drinking less alcohol can dramatically improve your health. In this video, Sharita from Bucks County Department of Health offers some suggestions as to how to cut down on your drinking.

“Just underage drinking” is not harmless. Research shows that the earlier a child begins to drink, the greater the likelihood that they will develop an alcohol dependency later in life. Other risk factors to consider including ease of access and availability and perception of harm can impact a young person’s decision to try alcohol. The legal drinking is age is 21 and the longer you can delay the onset of first use can help decrease the risk of a substance use disorder later in life.

In Bucks County, 49% of 10th graders and 30% of 12th graders reported the most frequent way they obtained alcohol was from their own home! You lock up your guns and your medications, so be sure to lock up your alcohol. Make sure you are monitoring the alcohol that’s in your home, know where it is, and be sure to lock it up so that your children or their friends cannot access it. 

It may not seem like it, but research has shown that parents and caregivers play a critical role in influencing their teens’ perceptions and decision-making. It is so important for parents and caregivers to talk to their children about alcohol use - not just once, but early and frequently. Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s Know When. Know How. campaign offers a variety of great resources for having conversations with your child. 

This program is made possible through a grant funded by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. The opinions and statements expressed in this advertisement do not necessarily represent the views of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.