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When we think of teen drinking, usually summer parties, prom, or graduation come to mind. But a time of high drinking that people might not think about is the night before Thanksgiving, or “Blackout Wednesday.”

“It’s a day known for an increase in alcohol sales and a spike in people heading out to visit with friends before sitting down with family the next day,” according to MADD. “From 2012 to 2016, drunk driving crashes killed more than 800 people over the long Thanksgiving weekend, making it the deadliest holiday on our roads.”

Some parents might think allowing their teen to have a sip of alcohol at Thanksgiving is a good way to “Take the mystery away” or “Teach them to drink responsibly.”

But research shows that it may have the opposite effect than parents intend.

According to a study from the University at Buffalo, “Parents who allow their young children to occasionally sip and taste alcohol may be contributing to an increased risk for alcohol use and related problems when those kids reach late adolescence.”

On top of that, the earlier a teen starts drinking, the more likely they are to become dependent, according to SAMHSA.

For more consequences of underage drinking, check out our blog post, “7 Consequences of Underage Drinking”.

So what’s a parent to do on Thanksgiving? First, don’t give alcohol to your teen, even a sip. Make sure you monitor what you do have for the adults, making sure it doesn’t fall into young people’s hands.

Next, talk to your teen about the dangers of underage drinking and let them know you don’t want them drinking until 21. For tips on how to talk to your kids visit

Thanksgiving is a perfect time to talk to them, as there will be alcohol ads during the Thanksgiving football game. According to the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, “multiple longitudinal studies have correlated this exposure with greater likelihood of drinking, or if young people have already initiated alcohol use, drinking more.”

We hope you have a happy, fun, and most of all, safe Thanksgiving!