Teen Drinking & Drug Use

"Be Smart, Don't Start"

T.D.A.S.A - Teen Drinking And Smoking Awareness

Our goal is to lessen the numbers of teenage drinking and drug use, in our area of Harlan, Iowa. We plan to do this through positive reinforcement and leadership programs. We have, and plan to in the future, participate in different fun activities, that will draw your teen away from participating in things such as drinking and doing drugs.

Statistics of Teen Drinking and Drug Use

  • 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health:

    • 25% of 12-20 year olds drink alcohol

    • 16% reported binge drinking

  • 2011 Monitoring the Future Survey

    • 70% of 12th graders had tried alcohol

  • by age 15, half of teens have had at least one drink

  • nearly half (44%) of American young people have tried cigarettes by 12th grade, and 1 out of 5 (20%) 12th graders is a current smoker

  • the current marijuana use rate among youth (ages 12-17) is 6.7%

  • 5,000 people under age 21 die each year from alcohol-related car crashes, homicides, suicides, alcohol poisoning, and other injuries such as falls, burns, and drowning

  • more than 190,000 people under age 21 visited an emergency room for alcohol-related injuries in 2008 alone

  • 152 people under the age of 18 were reported for driving under the influence
  • 1,312 people under the age of 18 were reported for breaking the liquor laws

What Can Happen


Smoking is quite the problem amongst teenagers, and it needs to be addressed more drastically than some may think. Teenagers fall in a very troubling category where peer pressure comes hand-in-hand with quite a few friendships. It doesn't help that cigarettes are so easy to purchase and/or likely fall into the hands of a teenager. A few extra notes on the cons of smoking would be:

  • Smoking is extremely addictive; once you start, it's a quite the battle to stop.
  • Smoking causes numerous health problems, a few being: heart disease, strokes, emphysema (a disease that slowly deteriorates the lungs over time), various types of cancer - including lung, throat, stomach, and bladder cancer.
  • People who smoke are at a higher risk of contracting illnesses such as bronchitis or pneumonia.

What Can Result in Correspondence to Smoking

  • Bad skin: Because smoking can slow the flow of blood vessels, it can prevent oxygen and nutrients from getting to the skin — which is why smokers often appear pale and unhealthy. Studies have also linked smoking to an increased risk of getting a type of skin rash called psoriasis.
  • Bad breath: Cigarettes leave smokers with a condition called halitosis, or persistent bad breath.
  • Bad-smelling clothes and hair: The smell of stale smoke tends to linger — not just on people's clothing, but on their hair, furniture, and cars. And it's often hard to get the smell of smoke out.
  • Reduced athletic performance: People who smoke usually can't compete with nonsmoking peers because the physical effects of smoking (like rapid heartbeat, decreased circulation, and shortness of breath) impair sports performance.
  • Greater risk of injury and slower healing time: Smoking affects the body's ability to produce collagen, so common sports injuries, such as damage to tendons and ligaments will heal more slowly in smokers than nonsmokers.

Drinking and Alcohol

Alcohol, albeit monitored more closely than smoking, is still an immense issue amongst modern society. It is ending up in the hands of teenagers at parties, friend's houses, their own homes, etc. The list could go on. Cons to drinking would include the following:

  • Youthful 'immature' organs can literally be poisoned by alcohol.
  • The liver can be damaged. It takes a few days for it to recover and to get back to normal functioning after a 'session'.
  • The heart can beat so irregularly that it can stop.
  • The body can lose temperature causing hypothermia. Every year some teens die when they get drunk and pass out in the freezing cold.
  • Too little sugar in the body can cause coma and seizures.
  • Breathing can become so shallow or slow that it can stop.
  • One of the most common ways in which teens (and adults) die from alcohol is by choking on their own vomit. If you vomit when you are unconscious you can easily breath it in. If your body cannot get the oxygen it needs brain damage or death results.


Youth leadership programs, After school activities, Bring to attention the cost of smoking and drinking, Lead by example, See a doctor, and Don't buy for them are all great ways to try to prevent teen smoking and drinking. Another way that you yourself can prevent smoking and drinking is just to stay away from it hang out with better friends. There is always a choice. You have to make the decision to make the right one.