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A Message to Parents: It’s Your Duty to Discourage Dangerous Behavior

(New Philadelphia, Ohio) – The Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition and Prevention Action Alliance are asking parents to make the right call to keep their teens safe.

Parents and guardians supplying alcohol to those who are underage is one of the leading factors behind underage drinking and binge drinking. Studies show that alcohol consumption by adolescents results in brain damage – possibly permanent – and impairs intellectual development.

“Who would want to subject their kids, or any kids, to that kind of danger,” explained Jodi Salvo ADC Coordinator. “As parents and guardians, we have a responsibility to protect our kids and encourage safe behaviors and decisions that lead to a successful future. Allowing them to drink underage undermines our entire purpose.”

Every day, approximately 5,400 young people under 16 have their first drink of alcohol. Meanwhile, children who are drinking alcohol by 7th grade are more likely to report academic problems, substance abuse, and delinquent behavior in both middle and high school. By young adulthood, early alcohol use was associated with employment problems.

Not only is it ethically inappropriate to provide children with alcohol or support alcohol-fueled underage parties, but it is also illegal. As a parent, you cannot give alcohol to your teen’s friends under the age of 21 under any circumstance, even in your own home, even with their parent’s permission. You cannot knowingly allow a person under 21, other than your own child, to remain in your home or on your property while consuming or possessing alcohol.

If you break the law, you can face a maximum sentence of six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine; you can be sued if you give alcohol to anyone under 21 and they, in turn, hurt someone, hurt themselves, or damage property; and officers can take any alcohol, money or property used in committing the offense.

Things you can do to steer youth away from this dangerous behavior:

  • Refuse to supply alcohol to anyone under 21.
  • Be at home when your teen has a party.
  • Make sure that alcohol is not brought into your home or on your property by your teen’s friends.
  • Talk to other parents about not providing alcohol at other events your child will be attending.
  • Create alcohol-free opportunities and activities in your home so teens will feel welcome.
  • Report underage drinking to law enforcement.

For more information contact Jodi Salvo, ADC Coordinator at 330-440-7319.

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