This April is Alcohol Awareness Month. Founded and sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) since 1987, this year’s theme is: “Talk Early, Talk Often: Parents Can Make a Difference in Teen Alcohol Use.”
No other substance is more widely used and abused by America’s youth than alcohol, making alcoholism and alcohol-related problems the number one public health problem in the United States.
It is important to know that parents play a significant role in preventing and reducing the incidence of underage alcohol and drug use. Fostering healthy and responsible attitudes, talking openly and honestly, encouraging supportive relationships, and showing children that their opinions and decisions matter, are all ways to help prevent the use of alcohol and drugs.
In fact, research has shown that kids who have conversations with their parents and learn a lot about the dangers of alcohol and drug use are 50% less likely to use alcohol and drugs than those who don’t have such conversations.
It can be challenging to develop the communication skills needed to talk with your children about drinking and drugs, but it will be well worth the effort you put into it, as you get to know your children a little better and help them build the coping skills they need to handle the anger, stress, peer pressure, loneliness and disappointment that are part of being an adolescent.
So, let’s get started. We can’t afford to wait any longer. For more information about alcohol education, services & treatment, contact District 19 Community Services Board at (804)862-8002.