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It's Okay to Stand Up for Who You Are
You CAN make a difference in your child’s decision not to drink.

You just have to talk early. And talk often.
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slider-elementHealthy Brain Campaign

Alcohol affects the developing brain.

Underage drinking damages the teenage brain.

The facts speak for themselves.

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Clarke County School District's Healthy Brain Campaign

We have the facts on youth alcohol use and its affect on the developing brain.

Alcohol is #1 Drug for Youth

Alcohol is the most often used drug among Georgia's youth, Centers for Disease Control research reveals.

Alcohol Use Starts Early

On average, the onset age of drinking alcohol in Clarke County is 12 years old.

Alcohol Use Locally

Nearly 25% of Clarke County students middle school and up have consumed alcohol.

Prefrontal Area

Alcohol can cause severe changes in this area, which is responsible for good judgment, reasoning and impulse control.1

The Hippocampus

Alcohol can dramatically impact long-term memory and learning skills. The hippocampi was found to be 10% smaller among teens who drank more and longer.1

Damaged White Matter

In a recent study, white matter—the part that transmits signals—developed abnormally in teens who binge drank. This could impair thinking, learning and memory.2

As a Parent, What Can You Do?

Here are 3 tips to protect your children from the harms of drinking alcohol.

  • Bonding is essential to preventing underage drinking. Children are less likely to drink when their parents take an interest in their lives.
  • Children respond better when they have clear boundaries and expectations. Teach your children about the risks of drinking.
  • Know where your kids are, who they’re with and what they are doing. Stay involved.


Myths & Facts

  • It's only alcohol....

    Fact: Alcohol is a drug, and it's dangerous. Teens who drink are more likely to be victims of violent crime, have serious problems in school and be involved in drinking-related accidents.
  • Drinking is just part of being a teenager; it's no big deal!

    Fact: Underage drinking damages the teenage brain. Adolescents who drink are more likely to engage in risky behavior, suffer academically and develop dependency issues later in life.
  • I try not to interfere too much with my child. I know kids need to figure things out on their own, especially about drinking.

    Fact: It is very important to help your child make good, healthy choices. First, when children have a strong bond with a parent, they are apt to feel good about themselves and less likely to give in to peer pressure. Second, a good relationship with you is likely to encourage your children to try to live up to your expectations, because they want to maintain that close relationship. Make it easy for your child to talk honestly with you.
  • It's better to wait until my child is older before we start talking about drinking alcohol.

    Fact: Ages 9-11 are ideal for talking to your child about drinking. According to "Family Talk: A Guide for Parents," parents of teens generally agree that it is more difficult to start discussions during the teen years. A child is most receptive to discussion if he/she asks a question. Look for "learning moments" that may naturally become longer discussions.
  • Adults drink, so teens should be able to drink too.

    Fact: A young person's brain and body are still growing and will continue to do so into the 20's. Drinking alcohol can cause learning problems or lead to adult alcoholism. People who begin drinking before age 15 are five times more likely to abuse or become dependent on alcohol than those who begin drinking alcohol after age 21.* Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), Results from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health; Summary of National Findings. NSDUH Series H-41, HHS Publication Prevention, SAMSHA, 2011.
  • As long as I keep my children active, they won't want to drink.

    Fact: Youth who have an unusually strong desire for new experiences and sensations are more likely to use alcohol.
  • I've got plenty of time to talk to my kids about drinking alcohol...

    Fact: The average age of Georgia youth when they start drinking is 13! Talk early AND often!

CCSD Healthy Brain Campaign

  • Reduce the early onset of alcohol use among 9-20 year olds.

    Did you know that in Athens Clarke-County:

    • 4.1% of middle school students tried alcohol before age 11
    • 5,7% of Clarke County 8th graders have begun drinking
    • 8.9% of our high school students tried alcohol before age 13

    Read more

We Hear You