Seen in: The Post Star
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
This has been an unprecedented time of uncertainty as parents struggle to maintain family stability through the pandemic. While COVID-19 can overshadow many issues, please do not let underage drinking be one of them. Remember that hosting underage drinking parties is never acceptable and is illegal.
Some parents wonder if allowing their kids to drink at home can help them develop “an appropriate relationship with alcohol.” The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says that some parents take this even further and start enabling underage drinking for other teens in their home, thinking they are providing a controlled environment.
One or two parents attempting to control a dozen or more teens who are drinking alcohol is not a controlled environment. There are long and short term consequences for teens. Those teens are at risk of harming the development of their brains, adverse reactions to the medication they take, sexual assault at the party or elsewhere, and injury to themselves or others. Far more effective than allowing drinking at home is to model good drinking behavior and to have strict rules about underage drinking, the NIAAA found.
Giving kids alcohol doesn’t help them learn to drink responsibly. It teaches them that their parents are OK with them drinking, which only encourages them to push those boundaries further and to experiment more.
The Community Coalition for Family Wellness in South Glens Falls, The Prevention Council of Saratoga County and the Council for Prevention in Warren/Washington Counties are here as a resource and an ally to parents and community members in keeping our kids safe. Reach out to us for resources at ccfwsgf.org, preventioncouncil.org and councilforprevention.org or on social media.
Kelly Stevens, South Glens Falls
Coalition Coordinator, Community Coalition for Family Wellness