Community Members and Police Partner to Prevent Teen Drinking

Governor Walker has proclaimed April as Underage Alcohol Use and Abuse Awareness Month. During this season of social gatherings for youth, a reminder from the Lincoln County Drug Free Coalition and Merrill and Tomahawk Police Departments to parents who may want to host a post-prom or post-graduation party and serve alcohol: Parents Who Host, Lose The Most: Don’t be a party to teenage drinking.

Now through June, the Lincoln County Drug Free Coalition and local law enforcement are raising awareness about the health and safety risks of serving alcohol at teen parties. “Too many people think underage drinking is harmless,” said Debbie Moellendorf, chair of the Lincoln County Drug Free Coalition. “That’s not true. Every year we hear about teens dying as a result of drinking alcohol provided by an adult.”

In addition to community outreach , Merrill and Tomahawk Police Departments will be conducting alcohol age compliance checks throughout the year to ensure taverns, liquor stores, and other places that sell alcohol comply with laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol products to individuals under age 21.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), youth who begin drinking before the age of 15 are six times more likely to develop alcoholism or have problems with alcohol later in life, compared to those who wait until turning 21. With this in mind, the importance of delaying drinking is very important. As a parent and guardian, you have a significant influence on your child’s decision to use alcohol and drugs. One of the first steps is starting the conversation; this can be difficult to do. Sign up for Know! Parent Tips to receive emails twice a month that contain current facts about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, as well as, steps you can take to help your child resist peer pressure. www.drugfreeactionalliance.org/know

If you would like Parent Who Host, Lose the Most yard signs or a banner for your business or organization; contact Kristin Bath, Health Educator for the Lincoln County Health Department at 715-539-1373 or kbath@co.lincoln.wi.us .

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 annually to over 40 local coalitions statewide.

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