Friday, February 3, 2012

Fact Friday: Campaign targets Teen Drinking; Parent awareness

Recently we found this article while looking at the website and wanted to share a new campaign they are launching this year 2012.

Campaign Targets Teen Drinking
Parents need to wake up and smell the alcohol, experts say in a new campaign alerting them to the signs their children may be getting "trashed." For the next several months, local garbage trucks will serve as mobile billboards in Weber and Davis counties to help remind parents to talk with their kids about the dangers of alcohol on the developing brain.Weber Human Services and Waste Management have teamed with to help get the message across, said Zac Snow, prevention specialist with Weber Human Services.The mobile billboards will carry various messages such as, "What part of their brain don't your kids need?" According to, a media and education campaign funded by the Utah Legislature and designed to prevent and reduce underage drinking, binge drinking begins as early as the sixth grade. Yet, more than 60 percent of Utah parents are unaware their child is drinking. In addition, 45 percent of Utah kids who begin drinking before the age of 13 will become alcohol dependent. Snow said a teen's brain is more vulnerable to addiction and dependence. "There are two key brain areas that research has indicated are affected by drinking during the teenage years," Snow said. "The prefrontal lobe is responsible for making judgments and controlling impulses. This area is crucial in the development of our personalities and behaviors that we engage in." The other area of the brain is the hippocampus, which is responsible for learning and memory and is also vulnerable to the affects of alcohol because it is still developing.
"Research has found that parents have greater influence over their children's choices to drink than they realize," Snow said. "Recent figures indicate that underage drinking increases among teens whose parents consider drinking acceptable. Research has also indicated that when teens feel close with and involved with their parents and parents feel closer to each other, teens are less likely to drink or start drinking."
Recent data from the Utah Student Health and Risk Prevention Survey (SHARP) in Weber and Morgan counties indicated that close to 60 percent of sixth-, eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders who reported using alcohol in the last year also reported drinking at their own home or someone else's home without permission.
The data also indicates Weber and Morgan counties are higher than the state average for lifetime alcohol consumption among students at those grade levels.
Snow stressed the importance of parent involvement with their children.
"Knowing who they are friends with, what activities they are engaged in, where they are going to be are all part of parental monitoring, having clear rules, expectations and bonding with teens."
Snow said parents should talk with their children about the dangers of underage drinking and make sure they understand the risks. Bonding, setting clear rules and boundaries and monitoring kids can go a long way.
"Underage drinking is a real issue that needs to be taken seriously. Ideally we want underage drinking to stop," Snow said. "Realistically, though, we hope that through utilizing the media and educating parents we can drastically reduce and prevent underage drinking in the state."

  • Alcohol affects a child’s developing brain much differently than an adult’s.

  • A child’s brain goes through rapid change and development between the ages of 10 to 21. Drinking alcohol before age 21 interferes with this development and can cause permanent brain damage.

  • Alcohol damage can cause your child to: Have poor judgment; develop social problems; get into trouble; have trouble learning and remembering information; do poorly in school; and have problems attaining lifelong goals.

  • Underage drinking can lead to early alcoholism. More than 40 percent of individuals who start drinking before the age of 15 become alcohol-dependent at some point in their lives. In contrast, people who begin drinking at the legal age of 21 have just a 7 percent chance of becoming addicted. Research shows 67 percent of teens who drink before age 15 will try other illicit drugs.

  • - Facts from the American Medical Association Report & National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol Damage to the Adolescent Brain.
    So what can parents do? Here are a few suggestions from there website. Please go and check out the website. This process is transferable to other substance problems and to other different areas including  academics, friends, etc.  It has so many amazing suggestions along with a newsletter that helps you stay current on the alcohol issue HERE in Utah.
    • Talk to your child
    • Discuss your family values and rules and safe boundaries about alcohol, tabacco and other drugs. Let your child know that he or she cannot cross these boundaries without damaging his or her brain and development
    • Help your child make good choices by knowing there friends, schedules and whereabouts. Ensure your CHILD has an alcohol-free social environment
    • Stay close to your child and have fun together. Teens report the #1 reason they chose not to drink is parental disapproval.
    Even if you only have small children at home this is information is great to share with family and friends who have teens in their home! Check out the website It has SEVERAL wonderful resources.
    **info list above and from

    1 comment:

    Paul Meunier said...

    This is because getting into this activity will result harm to them and this may also affect the dream that their parents have for them. By having this training among our youth workers, the understanding and the knowledge that they will impart to your children in preventing underage alcohol use will be well-delivered. We shape the youth in the best way that they can be. We will constantly remind them of the future that their parents have worked hard for. We will give them the reason to believe in their dreams and that they will strive to achieve them.
    My Youth Pro will make sure that we will make your children good citizens of the country long before they reach the right age for drinking. We will never fail to let them understand the essence of taking things in moderation or even forgetting about the things that will not do them good. We will let them look at the brighter side of life so that they will get to appreciate the things that they deserve to have in the future.