New Mexico currently ranks first in the nation for children who consume their first alcoholic drink prior to the age of 13. The negative effects of underage alcohol consumption can last for years. In fact, alcohol can actually create permanent damage. The dangers of alcohol consumption and the importance of individuality must be taught at an early age in order to counter peer pressure and inform the youth that they do not have to prove their worth in social settings. Young people should also be encouraged to become more socially conscious, to step forward and take action against abuses, and to help educate future generations about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.
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