According to SAMHSA, on an average December day, more than 11,000 young people, aged 12 to 17, will use alcohol for the first time. Some of these young adults will not make it to the new year, as nearly 400 young people under age 21 die from alcohol-related causes every month. It’s up to families to work together to inform young people about the dangers of alcohol use — and to keep each other safe.
The Tennessee MADD blog offers a comprehensive guide on how to cope with the holidays and alcohol, including tips on planning an safe party, what to do if you think someone is impaired, and how to help reduce impaired driving.
Therapist and parenting expert Alyson Schafer offers up a video from her #FamilyTalk series, about the holidays and alcohol use, and underage drinking.
SAMHSA’s website contains many useful resources, including the “Talk. They Hear You.” campaign, which helps parents and caregivers start talking to their children early about the dangers of alcohol.
So, parents, teens and families — be aware and talk about it, so that everyone can be safe during this time of year.
Other references and resources:
- Stay Safe This Holiday Season – Tennessee MADD
- Let’s Talk About Underage Drinking During the Holidays – SAMHSA
- Holiday and Alcohol from the Family Talk About Drinking series – Alyson Schafer
- StopAlcoholAbuse.gov, the website managed by SAMHSA on behalf of the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking
- SAMHSA’s Underage Drinking page, which provides information and resource links
- “Talk. They Hear You.” national prevention campaign for parents and other adult caregivers of children ages 9 to 15
- Underage Binge Alcohol Use Varies within and across States, a report that highlights states and substate regions where young people appear to be at particular risk of experiencing underage drinking consequences