Talking to your teen about alcohol

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – April is National Alcohol Awareness Month and with events like spring break and prom happening this time of year Monique Price-Taylor from the Governor’s Prevention Partnership stopped by our studio to remind all Connecticut parents that teens and alcohol don’t mix.

What is the Governor’s Prevention Partnership?
The Governor’s Prevention Partnership is a statewide prevention agency that
works with organizations throughout Connecticut to educate youth on substance abuse
and underage drinking prevention, mentoring and anti-bullying initiatives

What is the Peer-to-Peer Prevention Initiatives Program?
This is a program that strives to teach young people how to make healthy
decisions around alcohol and substance abuse through what is called the E3
program…encourage, empower, engage.
It came about as a result of students telling us through surveys that they are
frequently in situations where they are faced with decisions about alcohol use,
binge drinking, and drug use.
Students indicated they did not feel they were equipped with resources when
faceed with risky behavior.

What are some of the health risks associated with alcohol specific to teens?
Impaired driving, while not just an issue exclusive to teens, is an enormous risk
for all
The perception of harm; A common myth of underage drinking is that if it is legal
when you are 21, it must not be harmful.
The truth is that the human brain is not fully developed until a person’s midtwenties.
Alcohol affects the frontal lobe which is responsible for decision making, selfcontrol,
thinking, and emotions, all of which are very vulnerable in the teenage
years.

What statistics can you share with us about teens and alcohol consumption?
Nationally, alcohol contributes to around 5,000 deaths among youth each year.
By age 15, about 33 percent of teens have had at least 1 drink.
By age 18, about 60 percent of teens have had at least 1 drink.
Teens who drink are 2x more likely to engage in sexual activity, including
unprotected sex and other risky sexual behaviors.
Your chances of becoming addicted are significantly decreased with each year
drinking is delayed.

How does the Peer to Peer program serve to address these issues?
The program promotes healthy decision making through educational activities,
skill development and leadership opportunities.
The program is led by trained high school students to be youth facilitators.
The youth facilitators are trained by The Governor’s Prevention Partnership
staff.
They deliver lessons and material in a format that is easy to understand to
participating youth, who are their peers.

What can parents to do help their teens avoid alcohol?
Parents and other significant adults are a major influence on a child’s use of
alcohol.
Be a role model for safe habits.
Talk about the dangers of drinking too much alcohol such as alcohol poisoning.
Don’t serve alcohol at teen parties.
Locking up the liquor cabinet is never a bad idea.
Talk about the dangers of drinking and driving themselves or getting in the car
with someone who has been drinking.
Encourage them to participate in school sponsored safe graduation parties.

For more information go to www.preventionworksct.org

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