All Maine youth are at risk for underage drinking. This campaign is based on our findings from our 2010 Parent Phone Survey. Over 90% of Portland parents answered, "NO" to the question, "Is it ever ok for your child to drink alcohol?" The same survey also found 96% of parents would NOT allow their teen's friends to drink in their home AND 95% of parents feel it is very important for parents to try everything possible to prevent their teen from drinking.
Despite these and other great strides, few parents surveyed said why alcohol prevention is important or named concrete prevention actions. We know one of top sources of alcohol for youth is in their own homes1, yet only 2% of Portland parents surveyed keep track of their alcohol.
Listen to an important
message from Steve Rowe.
Did you know? The human brain does not become fully developed until a person's mid-20s. According to the Surgeon General, areas of the brain which drive risk taking and sensation-seeking develop first, while the area that controls judgment (the prefrontal cortex) is the last to develop:
…The limbic areas of the brain, which are thought to regulate emotions and are associated with an adolescent's lowered sensitivity to risk and propensity for novelty and sensation seeking, mature earlier than the frontal lobes, which are thought to be responsible for self-regulation, judgment, reasoning, problem solving, and impulse control.2
Youth who begin drinking before age 15 are 5x as likely to develop problems with alcohol as adults3. The problems don't end there: alcohol is linked to accidents, violence, academic failure, risky sexual behavior and use of other harmful drugs, among other negative outcomes.4
Alcohol kills more youth than all other drugs combined. Only 1/3 of these deaths involve vehicle crashes5; the other 2/3 are a result of homicides, suicides, drowning, and falls.
Parent Tip #1
Keep track of the alcohol in your home. Count it and lock it up.
[ MORE INFO ]
Parent Tip #2
Get to know your teen's friends, and their parents.
— — — 1US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, "Young Alcohol
Users Often Get Alcohol from Family or Home," National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Data Spotlight, (February 17, 2011). 2Office of the Surgeon General, The Surgeon General's Call to Action To Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking,
(Rockville, MD: US Dept. of Health and Human Services: 2007): 19-20. Available online. 3Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, "Alcohol Dependence and Abuse and Age at First Use,"
The NSDUH Report (October 22nd, 2004): 1. 4Office of the Surgeon General, The Surgeon General's Call to Action To Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking,
(Rockville, MD: US Dept. of Health and Human Services: 2007): 10. 5Ibid., 10-11.