Thursday, December 1, 2011

Parents Can Help Prevent Underage Drinking During the Holidays

Too often parents look the other way when it comes to teen drinking, assuming it is a ‘rite of passage.’ It is not unusual for well-meaning parents to provide alcohol to their teen’s friends at home parties.

Inspirations Teen Rehab encourages parents to be extra cautious in preventing underage alcohol use during the festive holiday season when traffic fatalities typically rise, as college students are returning home and holiday parties abound.

According to the Century Council, a group of distillers that works to reduce underage drinking, 17 percent of adults believe it is acceptable for parents to provide alcohol to teens in their own homes.

A new Teens Today study from Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) reports that 45 percent of high school teens are allowed to drink at home. Almost one in three say they are allowed to mark special occasions, like holidays, with alcohol at home. Over half of teens who say their parents allow them to drink admit to drinking while out with their friends, while only 14 percent of those who aren’t allowed to drink admit to doing so while with friends.

Parents remember that offering alcohol to person under 21 is a disorderly person’s offense and it is punishable by monetary fines and up to six months incarceration. Possession of alcohol by an underage person is also a disorderly person’s offense, punishable by the same guidelines. Most importantly by encouraging your teen to drink alcohol you are also encouraging a behavior that can turn into an addiction. There is no need to include alcohol on your teen’s celebrations.

Happy Holidays from all of Us at Inspirations for Youth and Families.

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