Five Ways to Spread the Word on Alcohol Awareness Month
1. Be a good role model
- Drink in moderation, pace yourself.
- 7 in 10 adults always drink at low-risk levels or do not drink at all.
- 3 in 10 adults drink to a level that puts them at risk for alcoholism, liver disease, and other problems.
- Do NOT drink and drive.
- Do not provide alcohol for your children. It is illegal to serve alcohol to anyone under the age of 21 years.
- Discuss with your relatives how you feel about underage drinking.
- Understand the amount of alcohol in a “standard” drink can vary.
2. Know the facts about teen drinking, driving, and purchasing alcohol
- Zero Tolerance laws make it illegal for an individual under the age of 21 to operate a vehicle with any measurable amount of alcohol in their blood (a blood alcohol level of <.02). Currently all 50 states and the District of Columbia have passed this law.
- This law has helped to decrease the rate of drinking drivers aged 16-20 who have been involved in fatal crashes.
- In every State and the District of Columbia, laws prohibit the purchase of alcohol by persons below the age of 21. The U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Violence Prevention (HEC) has updated its online resources for those responding to questions about the merits of current laws.
- Check out this helpful 2-page factsheet for more information
3. Connect with the community
- Check with local schools, YMCA, Boys/Girls clubs, or local fire and police departments about programs and materials available.
- Parents from the community and representatives from these local organizations can share materials or participate in an event or talk about prevention of underage drinking.
- Provide demonstrations such as drinking goggles to see what it is like to be impaired
- Have participants do activities such as walking in a straight line, giving a high five, and throwing a piece of paper in a trash can. Now have them repeat these activities while wearing the drinking goggles. Discuss the difficulty of the task and how it can relate to impairment with alcohol and drunk driving.
- Prepare an alcohol quiz show:
- Questions and answers can be divided into categories like biology, statistics, and history.
- Reward correct answers with candy or other small tokens.
- Serve fun alcohol-free drinks at these events.
4. Share an “Open Conversation” message with your friends and family about the dangers of underage drinking
- Send email, Facebook, or Twitter messages.
- Post information on bulletin boards at local community centers, places of worship, the library, schools, and the post office.
- One example:
- This April, during Alcohol Awareness Month, let’s take this time to educate ourselves and our loved ones about the dangers of teenage alcohol use. Let’s begin the conversation to end teen alcohol use and to help start saving lives.
- You can find more information about how to begin conversations at HealthAllianceonAlcohol.com
- Parents: The key to a successful discussion is make sure your kids know you always have an open door to for conversations about alcohol!
5. Know about organizations that can give you tools to help these conversations:
- Health Alliance on Alcohol (of course!)
- SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) which is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services