-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- About three-quarters of
American high school students say they don't drink alcohol, a new
The top five reasons why teens said they don't drink are: it's
illegal; it can harm health; it can affect their school grades;
parents don't approve; and they don't want to be like others who
The poll of 695 high school students also found that more than
half said they'd be less likely to be friends with or date someone
who is an underage drinker.
The survey findings were released by Mothers Against Drunk
Driving (MADD) as part of Red Ribbon Week (Oct. 21-25), a national
campaign in which schools and communities help raise awareness
about the dangers of drug and alcohol use among youth.
"As adults, we know how dangerous underage drinking is for our kids, but these new survey results show that teens are getting the message, too," MADD national president Jan Withers said in a news release from the group.
While the findings offer some positive news, underage drinking
still results in the deaths of 4,700 young Americans each year.
That toll is higher than for all other drugs combined, according to
That's why the group created a program called the Power of
You(th), which is meant to help teens resist peer pressure to drink
and to encourage nondrinking teens to influence other teens to
As part of Red Ribbon Week, MADD is encouraging teens to create
a 15-second Instagram video that answers the question: "If you
don't drink today, what could your tomorrow be?" Entries in The
Power of You(th) National Teen Video Contest will be accepted until
Dec. 20. The grand prize winner will receive $1,500, and the school
with the most entries will also receive $1,500.
Here's more on underage drinking from the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
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