Preventing Underage Drinking
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Don’t wait until your children are teenagers to talk to them about the dangers of alcohol consumption. During National Prevention Week, NewBridge Services is joining with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to raise awareness about underage drinking.
It’s important to speak to children early and often about the risks of using alcohol (and other drugs), because parents have a strong influence on their children’s decisions; talking to them can protect them from developing high-risk behaviors, according to SAMHSA.
Another reason: children may experiment with alcohol or other drugs at a young age. And the older children get, the more likely they are to try alcohol and drugs. About 10 percent of 12-year-olds say they have tried alcohol, but by age 15, that percentage jumps to 50 percent, SAMHSA reported.
Pointers for talking to children about underage drinking:
- Show you disapprove of underage drinking and other drug misuse.
- Show you care about your child’s health, wellness, and success.
- Be a good source of information about alcohol and other drugs.
- Pay attention to what your child is up to.
- Build your child’s skills and strategies for avoiding underage drinking and drug use.
Visit SAMHSA’s resources for parents for more information or call NewBridge at (973) 316-9333 to find out about counseling.
NewBridge Services is a 501c(3) nonprofit that provides counseling , housing and educational programs in northern New Jersey. Last year alone, NewBridge served more than 7,200 children, adults and seniors. NewBridge: treats mental illnesses and addictions; teaches coping skills to schoolchildren; counsels individuals and families so they can deal with stress, grief and challenging relationships; helps children who have been abused and neglected — and their families — heal; runs a successful alternative education and career program for young adults; supports seniors so they can live as independently as possible; performs psychological first aid to communities in crisis; provides affordable homes for people with special needs; and supports people with mental illness in the community. Throughout its 56-year history, NewBridge has remained true to its mission of bringing balance to people’s lives.