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Mother and teenage son.

Teen Alcohol Prevention Program

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We protect the health of youth.

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department works with community partners to prevent youth alcohol use.

Why is this work important?

Young people who start drinking before age 15 are:

  • Five times more likely to develop alcohol problems later in life.
  • Four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence.
  • Six times more likely to get in a physical fight right after drinking.

Teen drinkers perform worse in school and are more likely to fall behind. They have an increased risk of social problems, depression, suicidal thoughts and violence. Alcohol use also increases risk of stroke, high blood pressure, and permanent liver damage.

The good news is:

  • 84% of parents in Pierce County have clear rules about alcohol and other drugs.
  • Kids say their parents are the most influential people in their lives.
  • Youth are less likely to use alcohol if they believe their community thinks it's wrong for them to use.

It's important that parents, schools and communities work together to keep youth healthy and safe.