According to AHM’s Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coordinator, Brendan Grimm: “local parents play a major role in their sons and daughters choices about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.” In an April 2018 survey of teens, administered every 2 years at RHAM, teens expressed their perception that alcohol is easy to access. The survey also showed that only 74% of teens perceive alcohol as a risky behavior. Furthermore, the AHM community survey, which was also administered this past spring, revealed valuable information about alcohol. It showed the importance of the messages that parents give to their children. The data showed that when parents attitudes and rules are such that alcohol is risky for youth, it resulted in reported decrease in alcohol use. However, parents who reported to be neutral about the topic with their teen, or those who give the message that it is not harmful, resulted in increased reported use.
Here are a few FACTs for parents to consider about underage drinking in Connecticut:
* Youth under age 21 who are caught with possession of alcohol can also face motor vehicle sanctions, including the suspension of the minor’s operator’s license or a delay in their ability to obtain a license.
* Simply taking away the car keys does not solve all of the problems related to underage drinking. Take away the liquor, calling the parents of the offending minor, and getting help from the police is one of the most effective ways to ensure a teen’s safety if they have been drinking.
* There can also be civil and criminal consequences for adults that serve alcohol to minors.
* Parents can proactively take measures to help ensure these special times for teens are fun, yet safe and drug-free. For additional information, including the full list of parent tips and ideas, visit www.DrugFreeActionAlliance.org
* AHM is just a phone call away. If parents would like more information on ways to speak with teens about drugs and alcohol, there are resources available for you by calling 860-228-9488.
Throughout the school year, the AHM CHEC Coalition has a program called Parent Talks. These are periodic gatherings that bring parents together from the neighboring AHM communities to talk about topics such as underage drinking, and helping teens cope with other risks that exist in the world today facing young people. For more information, contact Brendan Grimm at the AHM offices by calling 860-228-9488.
Anyone is welcome to join the AHM CHEC Coalition, which meets on the first Wednesday of every month starting at 4 PM at the AHM offices on Pendleton Drive in Hebron.