The Newberry County Coalition on Underage Drinking, an effort of Westview Behavioral Health Services, recently partnered with the Drug Free Action Alliance of Ohio to sponsor a very special training event.
“Parents Who Host, Lose the Most” is a national award-winning public awareness campaign to inform parents about the legal, health and safety concerns of hosting teen alcohol parties.
The training, held at Grace Community Church in Greenwood on Feb. 22 and 23, drew professionals and lay people alike from across the state.
Margaret Brackett, a member of the Newberry coalition, was an enthusiastic participant.
“I was privileged to join this public awareness training and represent the Newberry County Coalition,” she said. “Solutions were identified to address this problem, and strategies were proposed to reduce underage drinking and related problems.” Some of those strategies included:
• Educating parents about the risks to health and safety when serving alcohol to teens.
• Increasing parental awareness of underage drinking laws.
• Changing community norms related to making alcohol available to underage youth (commonly called social hosting).
“Parents Who Host” reinforces our community message that underage drinking is unsafe, unhealthy and unacceptable. Far too many people dismiss underage drinking as a normal “rite of passage” in adolescence.
It is important to remember that, although alcohol is legal for adults, it is not for those under 21.
More youth in the U.S. drink alcohol than smoke tobacco or marijuana, making it the most used drug by American young people.
As we approach this prom and graduation season, remember that the safety and health risks of alcohol have far-reaching consequences that most parents try to protect their children from.
• Each day, approximately 8,000 young people across the nation will take their first drink of alcohol.
• Some 31 percent of youth report obtaining alcohol from their parents, and another 27 percent say they got it from another adult.
“The problem is not simply considerable, large or worrisome. In a word, it is devastating to our communities and campuses,” Brackett emphasizes.
Boiled down to the simplest terms, it really is about saving lives.
And the stakes are enormous.
For additional information, including the full list of parent tips and ideas, visit www.DrugFreeActionAlliance.org
Visit the Coalition on Facebook at Newberry County Coalition on Underage Drinking. Contact the Coalition at 276-5690.