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Hey Parents! It's Alcohol Awareness Month!
When we know better we do better. For example, did you know that teens who use alcohol before age 15 are SIX TIMES more likely to become alcohol dependent than those that begin drinking at age 21? We also now know that the brain is still developing until age 24-25 and can be damaged by just a few episodes of binge drinking. Some parents today still think it's okay to let their kids experiment with drinking in controlled settings, but the results of this permissive attitude may not be realized for years.
April is Alcohol Awareness month and with prom and graduation season approaching we want to equip you with some facts, tools & tips. Alcohol remains the most widely abused substance among America's youth and more adolescents use alcohol than cigarettes and marijuana.
As parents, let's step up the communication with our kids about the dangers of teen drinking and not just the immediate effects of injury or car accidents, but the long term consequences that can include addiction.
The Role Parents Play
So, what can you do? You can have either a positive or negative influence on whether your child chooses to drink. Here are some tips and advice to consider:
- Set and enforce clear rules against drinking. Don't make alcohol available.
- Get to know their friends and talk with other parents - If your teen is spending the night at a friend's after prom or just going out for a party--call the other parents. Ask them if drinking will be allowed, and what level of supervision will they offer to ensure it doesn't happen. You may be surprised by their answer.
- Model healthy behaviors.
You can do it. Keep parenting!