There are a number of ways in which parents can lessen the effect of peer influence. Possibly one of the more important is for parents to correct the common teenage misperception that ‘all teenagers drink lots of alcohol’. This false belief leads some teenagers to feel they need to drink to excess in order to fit in with their peers. The truth is, although most teenagers have tried alcohol, only a small (but very visible) proportion drink alcohol to get drunk. It is important to provide your teenagers with objective information to prevent them from falling into this trap. For example, a media story that recently received a great deal of publicity around the country focused on the fact that ‘one out of ten Australian teenagers are binge drinkers’ – that means nine out of ten aren’t! Make your child aware of the fact that if her or she drinks alcohol responsibly or chooses not to drink then he or she is in the majority.

Excerpt from “Teenagers, Alcohol and Drugs” by Paul Dillon.
Editor Ramesh Manocha.