(New Philadelphia, Ohio) – Local agencies and community members are working together to remind parents of the major role they play in their children’s choices about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
The Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition is partnering with Prevention Action Alliance, and local school districts, businesses, and community members to help place banners and signs designed to bring more awareness to this initiative.
In a National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University survey to parents and teens, one-third of teen partygoers reported they have been to parties where teens were drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana, or using cocaine, ecstasy or prescription drugs while a parent was present. By age 17, statistics show that nearly half of teens have been at substance-fueled parties where parents were present.
“This county-wide awareness initiative is designed to reinforce to our communities that underage drinking is unsafe, unhealthy, and unacceptable,” explained ADC Coordinator, Jodi Salvo.”
The fact is that as a parent, you cannot provide 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 also cannot allow a person under 21, other than your own child, to remain in your home or on your property while consuming or possessing alcohol. There are legal consequences if you do. Based on Ohio law, you can face up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine and loss of property.
Tuscarawas County residents are encouraged to keep an eye out for posters and signs throughout their neighborhoods. An upcoming ADC podcast will also soon be released discussing this awareness campaign in more detail. ADC podcasts can be accessed by visiting www.adctusc.org.
It is important for parents to proactively take measures to help ensure special times like prom and graduations are fun, yet safe and drug-free for teens. Here are a few ideas for parents (and teens) planning celebratory parties:
- Create a party plan, including a guest list, with your teen
- Invite just the friends on your list and let them know in advance the party is ‘invitation only’
- Let party guests know that if they leave, they cannot come back
- Plan some activities such as music, games, movies, etc
- Make regular and unobtrusive visits to the party area with sensitivity to teens’ needs for privacy
If your teen is attending a party:
- Know where your child will be. Call the parent in charge to verify the location of the party. Ensure there will be adult supervision ant that the host will not be serving or allowing alcohol.
- Set a curfew for your teen to be home and when they arrive home, have them check in with you.
- Know how your child is getting to and from the party. Reinforce the message to your teenager that he/she should never allow someone who has been drinking to drive them anywhere.
For more information on local prevention efforts and resources visit adctusc.org.