In 2021, we conducted a survey of Westport youth and found that 33% of Staples High School students reported past 30 day alcohol use, which is double the State of Connecticut average. These numbers show the need for education and prevention in our community. Our goal is to provide youth with the resources and support they need to make informed decisions.
Have you seen our Postcards?
This campaign was funded through the Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services Local Prevention Grant
What Does the Data Show?
Are all Westport kids drinking?
No! The good news is that the majority (75%) of Westport kids in Grades 7-12 are NOT drinking. But our 2021 Westport youth survey found that:
●25% of all 7th-12th students drank in the past month ●9% of MS students
●33% of HS students (higher than 2019 CT state average)
●60% of seniors drank in the past month
In our 2021 survey, drinking rates may have been impacted by the COVID pandemic and a more isolated environment (ex. fewer house parties). We hope to re-survey in Spring of 2024 -- stay tuned for new data!
Which kids are most likely to drink?
Overall, most students report that their peers disapprove of substance use (77% disapprove of alcohol)
What Can We Do?
Have the Conversations
Help Reduce Access
Promote Healthy Alternatives
What is the Social Host Law?
Connecticut has a Social Host Law, which makes the property owner/renter responsible if anyone underage is drinking on their property. So even if you didn't know that kids were sneaking your alcohol, you can get charged with a Class A Misdemeanor:
up to 1 year in jail
So... Lock Your Liquor!
How much is a standard drink?
In the United States, a "standard" drink contains about 14 grams of alcohol. That's the amount in:
12 oz of beer (if the beer is 5% Alcohol by Volume)
5 oz of wine (if the wine is 12% Alcohol)
1.5 oz (1 shot) of liquor (if the liquor is 40% Alcohol, aka 80 proof)
A regular size wine bottle contains about 5 standard drinks. Drinks in restaurants are often 2 or more "standard" drinks. For example, wine may come in 6oz-9oz amounts. A cocktail often contains 2 shots. Learn more & get tools for making changes at Rethinking Drinking.
What are good educational resources?
For Kids: Ask Listen Learn
How many drinks are safe?
In CT, an adult is legally intoxicated if their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level is 0.8. A person under age 21 is legally intoxicated if their BAC is 0.2.
Sex and weight affect how fast the body metabolizes alcohol. (See BAC graphic below.)
The average adult American female will reach a BAC of 0.8 between 2 and 3 standard drinks.
The average adult American male will reach a BAC of 0.8 after 3 standard drinks.
It takes the body about 1 3/4 hours to process one standard drink.
Binge drinking is when people consume 4-5 (or more) drinks within 2 hours--far more than the body can process. Health effects can include overdose, brain damage, and death.
See CT's Driving Under the Influence laws here.