Celebrate Safely This Holiday Season

Parents Who Host, Lose The Most: Don’t Be a Party to Teenage Drinking

This time of year brings lots of opportunities to celebrate. Unfortunately, many times these celebrations end in tragedy because the party was fueled by alcohol provided by an adult.  This year, the Lincoln County Drug Free Coalition wants teens (and their parents) to celebrate safely without alcohol.

The Lincoln County Drug Free Coalition is raising awareness about the health and safety risks and legal outcomes of adults serving alcohol to teens through the “Parents Who Host, Lose The Most: Don’t be a party to teenage drinking” campaign.  

It is illegal for adults to purchase, pour, or provide alcohol for anyone under age 21 who isn’t their child or spouse. Parents can’t provide “permission” for an adult to purchase, pour, or provide alcohol to their children. “Adults who provide alcohol to teens are placing both the teen and themselves in jeopardy,” said Debbie Moellendorf, chair of the Lincoln County Drug Free Coalition.  “According to a 2016 survey of Merrill and Tomahawk middle and high school students, the majority disapprove of parents providing alcohol to students.”

Here are some tips for adults (especially parents) on how to avoid being a party to teenage drinking:

  • Don’t be afraid to be the bad guy. Taking a tough stand on alcohol use can help youth say no when they are pressured to drink by their friends.
  • Talk with other adults about hosting alcohol-free youth events. Unity creates a tough, enforceable message.
  • Set a positive example. If you host a party, always serve alternative non-alcoholic beverages and do not let anyone drink and drive.
  • Stay home if a teen is hosting a party in your home. Observe the activities and confiscate any alcohol that may be brought by party goers.
  • Report underage drinking to the police promptly.

The “Parents Who Host, Lose The Most: Don’t be a party to teenage drinking” campaign was developed by the Drug Free Action Alliance. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has partnered with the Drug Free Action Alliance since 2009 to provide this program each year to over 40 community groups statewide.

The mission of the Lincoln County Drug Free Coalition is to work with the community to reduce the use/abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs among youth and over time among adults. The coalition, along with law enforcement and other partners of Healthy People Lincoln County, are working together to make our community a healthier and safer place to live for Lincoln County residents.

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