- Drinking puts youth at risk for problems now and in the future,
- Parents have a significant influence on young people’s decisions about alcohol use, and
- By not talking about risks of underage drinking, parents unintentionally send a message that alcohol use is okay.
SAMHSA, ONDCP, and other federal and national “Talk. They Hear You.” partners urge parents and caregivers to talk with children as young as 9 years old about alcohol. The Campaign features an evidence-based, online tool that gives adults practice in having direct, honest, and effective conversations with young people.
Summertime activities, like cookouts, ballgames, and working in the yard, bring parents and children together and provide natural opportunities to talk about underage drinking. Then, when a child asks to go to a summer pool party or a sleepover, parents and caregivers have already expressed their disapproval and given their child the skills he/she needs to avoid underage drinking.
Visit SAMHSA’s “Talk. They Hear You.” webpage for more tips and information about starting the conversation about alcohol.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2012). Monthly Variation in Substance Use Initiation among Adolescents. Retrieved from www.samhsa.gov/data/2k12/NSDUH080/SR080InitiationSubstanceUse2012.pdf.