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Parents Who Host, Lose the Most: Don’t be a party to teenage drinking.
Prom and graduation are important events in young people’s lives. Parents often celebrate these events by hosting parties for their children and inviting their children’s friends. Unfortunately, alcohol is provided at some of these parties by parents and adults who see underage drinking as a “rite of passage.” Other parents condone the use of alcohol because they want to be considered a ‘cool’ parent or may believe they are keeping teens ‘safe’ by providing alcohol in the home, thus preventing them from drinking and driving.
Hosting parties for teens where alcohol is available can be costly for everyone involved. It is illegal, unsafe, and unhealthy for anyone under the age of 21 to drink alcohol. According to the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 16% of students in Buffalo County 10th grade reported binge drinking (five or more drinks in a row) in the past 30 days. Over half (58%) of students surveyed in Buffalo County have had a least one drink of alcohol, with a quarter of students (25%) drinking in the last 30 days. The percentage of students reporting binge drinking in Wisconsin is higher than most states.
Underage use of alcohol is a serious problem that too often leads to harmful consequences for youth and their families. Some of these consequences include, academic, social, and physical problems, changes in brain development, abuse of other drugs, and alcohol- related car crashes. Youth who start drinking before the age of 15 are five times more likely to develop a dependency to alcohol later in life than those who begin drinking at or after age 21.
Parents can protect themselves and their teens by following guidelines when hosting parties for their children. These include, hosting safe, alcohol-free activities and events for youth during prom and graduation season, refuse to supply alcohol to children, be at home when your teenage has a party, and report underage drinking.
2015 Buffalo County Partnership Council Social Media Town Hall Meeting.
Learn about the prevalence of underage drinking and prevention strategies!