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New campaign to help parents talk to younger children about the dangers of underage drinking

Youth surveys reveal that the number one reason young people give for choosing not to use alcohol is that they do not want to disappoint their parents. As this new school year kicks off, we encourage you to resolve to increase conversations with your children about the dangers of drinking. “Talk. They Hear You.” is a national campaign that the Logan County Drug Free Youth Coalition is promoting to empower parents to talk to children as young as nine years old about the dangers of underage drinking.

According to 2012 Search Institute Survey results, more than a third of Logan County youth engage in underage drinking. Although there has been progress in reducing underage drinking nationally, Logan County’s rate of underage drinking continues to increase.

“Talk. They Hear You.” raises parents’ awareness about these issues and arms them with information they need to help them start a conversation about alcohol with their children before their children become teenagers.

“These young people are our future leaders—our future teachers, mayors, doctors, parents, and entertainers,” said Drug Free Youth Coalition Director Margaret Appel. “As our youth and young adults face challenges, we as a community need to effectively communicate with them in every way possible about the risks of underage drinking so that they have the necessary tools to make healthy and informed choices.

“Talk. They Hear You.” features a series of TV, radio, and print PSAs that show parents “seizing the moment” to talk with their children about alcohol such as while preparing dinner or doing chores together. By modeling behaviors through these PSAs, parents can see the many “natural” opportunities for initiating the conversation about alcohol with their children. Visit www.underagedrinking.samhsa.gov for more tips and information.

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