Don't Supply It
If teenagers under the legal age drink in your home with or without your permission, you are legally responsible for their actions even after they leave your home.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research shows that alcohol remains the most commonly used and abused drug among youth and is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths annually among underage youth.
Data from the Illinois Youth Survey for DuPage County shows underage drinking is also a local issue. 21% of 10th graders and 39% of 12th graders reported drinking alcohol in last 30 days.
Data from the Illinois Youth Survey for DuPage County shows that among self reported youth alcohol users, 38% of 10th graders and 43% of 12th graders report accessing alcohol from their parents with parents permission.
WHAT CAN A CONCERNED PARENT DO?
Data shows that the number one influencer on a child’s decision making process when it comes to drugs and alcohol is their parents. Talk early and often about your expectations when it comes to your teens behavior.
- Make it clear to your children – and your children’s friends – that you don’t approve of illegal drug use or under-age drinking and you don’t allow it in your home.
- If you drink alcohol, make sure your wine, beer, and liquor supplies can’t be accessed or stolen by under-age people.
- Be home whenever there’s a non-drinking party on your property. And make sure you’re on duty as a supervising parent.
- Talk to other parents to make sure that alcohol and illegal drugs are not available at parties in their homes.
- Keep the lines of communication open with your children about drug and alcohol abuse. In an age when almost every teen knows someone who’s abusing alcohol or drugs, good communication between parents and children may be the most important preventive measure of all. Stress that you will pick up your child no questions asked if necessary -consider a text code to alert you.
- Talk to your children about the laws and liabilities that put you at serious risk if one of their friends drinks or uses drugs in your home.