How many teens are keeping alcohol out of the picture?

Slide right to find out.

The fact is 4 out of 5 Washington teens DON’T DRINK alcohol.

The Risks

Underage drinking comes with too many risks to ignore.

Your brain is still developing.

Drinking alcohol can damage your memory, and impair your impulse control, learning ability and judgment.

Drinking can lead to bad decisions.

From saying stuff you’ll regret—to something more serious like driving drunk—drinking isn’t worth the consequences.

Underage drinking is illegal.

You could get charged with a Minor in Possession. This could mean fines or loss of a driver’s license—or even missing out on job or college opportunities.

Early use is linked to abuse.

People who start drinking before age 15 are five times more likely to abuse alcohol later in life than those who begin drinking at or after age 21.

It’s dangerous.

Drinking is linked with 189,000 ER visits every year nationwide for people under 21, whether it’s injuries from a fall or getting your stomach pumped.

Opt Out Skills

It can be hard to pass on drinking, especially if someone’s pressuring you. Here are some effective ways to turn down alcohol.

Plan ahead.

Avoid situations where you think people will be drinking. You’ve got better things to do anyway.

Give a firm-but-friendly “No thanks!”

Pretty basic, but it’s a classic because it works. Repeat as necessary if the person keeps offering.

Make a hasty exit.

Ask the person offering you a drink, “Do you know where the bathroom is?” or “Have you seen my phone?” Then bounce.

Put it on your parents.

Tell people your parents are really strict. It’s a good way to shift the blame.

Say you have to get up early tomorrow.

Work, practice, even walking the dog—any activity can work as a reason for why you’re not drinking.

Suggest something better.

Find a local diner or somewhere else to hang out. Who doesn’t love late-night hash browns?

Get Help

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol dependence or abuse, help is available.

Speak with another teen who understands:

Talk about drinking problems with a teen phone worker at 1-866-833-6546, available every evening between 6pm and 10pm.

24/7 Support

Call the Washington Recovery Help Line at 1-866-789-1511 for 24-hour support.

Get Involved

Want to help prevent underage drinking in your community? Click here to find out about joining a prevention coalition near you.