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New campaign targets parents, adults as alcohol providers

Apr 28, 2015

SANDY — For the next six months, the rear doors of Sandy's squad cars will display a pointed public health advertisement:

"Seat reserved for adults who provide alcohol to minors."

The new stickers represent the first phase of a joint campaign against underage drinking by the mayor's office of Sandy, its police department and ParentsEmpowered.org, an outreach arm of the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Rather than addressing children and teens directly, the campaign targets parents and other adults who provide the majority of all alcohol consumed by minors.

"Some parents feel that it is good for children to learn to drink at home," Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan said Monday. "That is not only a very bad decision to make on the behalf of our young people, it is also illegal."

Adults who provide alcohol to a minor can be charged with a class B misdemeanor, and face up to $1,000 in fines and up to one year in jail.

"That's the same penalty as a DUI," said Sandy Police Chief Kevin Thacker. "It's something that's very important and we take it very seriously."

Of course, Thacker said, the legal consequences are the least of his force's worries. Studies have shown that underage drinking both impairs adolescent brain development and predisposes teens to alcoholism and addiction.

According to Art Brown, co-chairman of ParentsEmpowered.org, 40 percent of children who begin drinking at or before age 15 will become alcohol-dependent; 67 percent will try another illicit drug.

Whatever their intentions, parents who supply their children with alcohol are complicit in this damage, Brown said.

“Law enforcement will be there and they will, I assure you, enforce the law. You will get a ride in the back seat,” he said, gesturing to the squad car’s newly-emblazoned passenger door. “But more importantly, when we give kids alcohol, we can set them down a path that’s almost irreversible.”

The good news, Brown said, is that parental attitude is one of the most important influences on a teen's response to alcohol.

"It trumps peer pressure as the No. 1 thing,” he said.

Campaign officials encourage parents to set strong zero-tolerance rules for alcohol, especially in the face of upcoming celebrations such as prom and graduation. April is the perfect time for a family meeting, said city communications director Nicole Martin.

"If parents are not having conversations with their children about underage drinking, we hope they take this time, Alcohol Awareness Month, to do so," she said.

Phase one of the campaign will continue for six months before organizers transition to phase two, a series of town hall meetings and public forums on underage drinking prevention.

Published: Monday, April 27 2015 3:24 p.m. MDT

 

See Full Article Here

Email: aoligschlaeger@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @allisonoctober

Bonding, Boundaries, Monitoring

Feb 20, 2015

Effects of Underage Drinking

Mar 4, 2013

This bulletin presents findings from a literature review that investigated how underage drinking can affect a youth’s physical, emotional and neurological health. In it, the authors discuss the legal, neurological, economic and personal consequences youth can face when they make the decision to begin drinking.

The authors highlight the following points:

  • The human brain continues to develop until a person is around age 25. Underage drinking may impair this neurological development, causing youth to make irresponsible decisions, encounter memory lapses, or process and send neural impulses more slowly.
  • Underage drinking cost society $68 billion in 2007, or $1 for every drink consumed. This includes medical bills, income loss, and costs from pain and suffering.
  • In 2009, 19 percent of drivers ages 16-20 who were involved in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration over the legal adult limit (0.08).
  • Alcohol use encourages risky sexual behavior. Youth who drink may be more likely to have sex, become pregnant or contract sexually transmitted diseases.

Continue reading at: http://www.ojjdp.gov/pubs/237145.pdf

Prevent Teen Alcohol Brain Damage

Mar 1, 2013

New research, using MRIs and SPECT scans (single-photon emission computed tomography) shows that alcohol can have long-term negative effects on teen brain development, including poor judgment, early addiction and fragile white-matter formation. Learn more from fascinating interviews with doctors involved in teen brain research in this updated video version of the Strengthening Families Program Home-Use DVD.*

In this Lesson 8 of the 10-part video series, you’ll also learn the three simple skills parents need to prevent teen use, including Bonding, setting Boundaries and Monitoring to be sure teens stay in an alcohol- and drug-free social environment.

Click here to access the downloadable handouts that go with the lesson eight.

LESSON EIGHT

Click here to view SFP video Lesson 8.

A Note on Strengthening Families:

*The Strengthening Families Program (SFP), which are normally group classes that parents and youth attend together, was created in 1982 with funding from the National Institute of Drug Abuse. It has been proven effective in several randomized control studies to improve communication, problem solving and family unity, and decrease family conflict and teen alcohol and drug use. Classes are taught in 50 states and 17 foreign countries. The Utah chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving partnered with the program creator to put those same research-proven SFP skills in an inexpensive entertaining DVD format for parents and children to watch together at home. ParentsEmpowered requested that Lesson 8 be made available to everyone via the Internet to help prevent underage drinking.

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