In order to fundamentally change how communities view teen drinking, you often need to go beyond the anecdotal evidence and show them hard data. You’ve got to demonstrate the social and monetary costs of teen drinking to your town, your neighborhood, and your school.
A new free tool on the Web from Ensuring Solutions to Alcohol Problems can help. The Alcohol Cost Calculator for Kids takes information you enter about your community or group and, based on statistical likelihood, produces a rich report about the variety of costs incurred from teen drinking.
You’ll be able to tell your community how many teens are likely to have serious problems and the percentage who are not getting treatment. You can also use the Calculator to educate parents about how many of their kids are at risk for problems like violence, drug use, and promiscuity.
For example, a guidance counselor who works with 300 sophomores and juniors in Minneapolis would learn that forty-two of them are likely to have alcohol problems—and that these students miss nearly 465 school days. That’s information that will mean something to a principal and superintendent.