Red Ribbon Week – Parents Who Host Lose the Most – 10/24/16
Parents Who Host, Lose the Most: Don’t be a party to teenage drinking
Parents play a major role in their children’s choices about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. In a National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University survey to parents and teens, one-third of teen partygoers have been to parties where teens were drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana, or using cocaine, ecstasy or prescription drugs white a parent was present. By age 17, nearly half of teens have been at parties where parents were present.
Drug Free Action Alliance has developed Parents Who Host, Lose the Most: Don’t be a party to teenage drinking to provide parents with accurate information about the health and safety risks associated with underage drinking and the legal consequences of providing alcohol to minors. Underage drinking increases during celebratory times, such as homecoming, holidays and graduation and the program encourages parents and the community to send a unified message that teen alcohol consumption is not acceptable. It is illegal, unsafe, and unhealthy for anyone under age 21 to drink alcohol.
Here are the facts:
- There are many health-related consequences of youth consuming alcohol including negative effects on brain development, deviant behavior including stealing and skipping school and a greater risk of becoming alcohol-dependant later in life
- Parents who give alcohol to their teen’s friends under any circumstances, even in their own homes, are breaking the law
- Parents who knowingly allow a person under21 to remain in their home or on their property while consuming or possessing alcoholic beverages can be prosecuted
- Parents can be sued if they allow anyone under 21 to consume alcohol and they, in turn, hurt someone or damage property
Underage use of alcohol is a serious problem that too often leads to harmful consequences for youth and their families. Parents can protect themselves and their teens by following these guidelines when hosting parties for their children:
- Host safe, alcohol-free activities and events for youth
- Refuse to supply alcohol to children or allow drinking in your home or on your property
- Be at home when you teen has a party
- Make sure you teenager’s friends do not bring alcohol into your home
- Talk to other parents about not providing alcohol at youth events
Our youth deserve to live and grow to adulthood in an environment where alcohol is not misused. Let’s be unified in our message, and host alcohol-free parties with plenty of fun activities to show our youth that we care about their future.
Michael E. Heldman, Sheriff
Hancock County Sheriff’s Office