When you think of Thanksgiving, turkey, football games and getting together with family usually comes to mind. But what also happens at Thanksgiving is an excess of youth drinking.
Officer Phil Powers, Hopkinton's school resource officer, said that in his 21 years on the police force he has found that the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving is the busiest drinking night of the year for youth. It's busier than New Years Eve or graduation. And the problem is both with underage drinkers, many home from college for the first time, and with young legal drinkers in their twenties who are getting together with old high school friends and end up drinking to excess. Unfortunately, in too many cases these young people also get in a car and drive.
As parents, we all want to keep our kids safe. So what can you do?
# For kids under 21, have a conversation with them about your expectations about drinking; be clear that the law is no drinking until 21 and that you expect that they will follow it. This is critically important for kids who are coming home from college where there may be a different level of tolerance for underage drinking. Know where they are going and be there to check in with them when they get home. And never provide alcohol to anyone under 21; it's against the law.
# For kids over 21, talk to them about responsible drinking and the dangers of drinking till you are intoxicated when poor decisions are made about everything from driving to sexual activity. Reinforce the importance of identifying a designated driver before anyone starts drinking. Be sure they understand that it is illegal to buy liquor for anyone under 21 and that they can be criminally and civilly prosecuted if a problem occurs.
# For all kids, let them know that if they encounter a problem and can't get home safely, then you are always willing to come get them. Traffic crashes are the number one killer of teens and over one third of teen traffic deaths are alcohol related. Be a positive role model in your own use of alcohol. Kids listen to what you say but they also are influenced strongly by how you behave.
To help bring awareness to this problem, the beFREE! Project held a Sticker Shock campaign this past Wednesday in two retail stores, Colella's Supermarket and Hopkinton Wine and Spirits. BeFREE! youth with adult chaperones placed stickers on multi-packs of beer, wine coolers, and other alcoholic beverages that appeal to young drinkers. The stickers read "Hey You!! It is illegal to provide alcohol to people under 21!" Preventing underage drinking is everyone's responsibility and we need to work together to reduce underage access to alcohol and to teach young adults over 21 how to drink responsibly, if they choose to drink.
Studies show that talking to your kids about alcohol does make a difference in their behavior. So take a few minutes before this holiday to let your kids know your expectations, even if you have said it before. They need a reminder!
SOURCE: MetroWest Daily News
Nice Blog !!
I found another source of information for those who might be interested. They make it easier to find an appropriate addiction treatment and center that is best suited for the individual and/or the family’s needs.