New program helps parents address dangers of alcohol use to teens

virginia abcIt may come as a surprise, but children do listen to their parents, especially when it comes to crucial decisions like whether or not to drink alcohol.

In fact, research reported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism shows that while only 19% of adolescents think their parents should have a say in what music they listen to, more than 80% feel their parents should have a voice in whether they drink alcohol.

Armed with this insight, Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) has partnered with the Virginia Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to offer a new program for parents. The “Power of Parents” program provides necessary guidance and support to help parents have critical discussions with their children about alcohol use.

The program provides training for parents about how to talk with their children, steps they can take to both model and encourage adolescents to make smarter, safer choices and vital information tailored for parents of middle and high school students faced with decisions about alcohol use.

“Parents are the strongest protective factor that adolescents have when faced with the decision to drink or not,” said Virginia ABC Education and Prevention Manager Katie Crumble. “We want to help parents navigate what can be difficult conversations about alcohol with their children to stop dangerous behaviors before they start.”

The Power of Parents program offers parents of middle and high school students a one-hour training which can be taken online or in person. The program also provides an age-specific handbook with the training, which can be downloaded or ordered. Both the training and handbook are free. Schools and organizations are encouraged to partner with Virginia ABC to offer the Power of Parents program in their communities.

To sign up, order a handbook and for more information about the program, visit https://www.abc.virginia.gov/education/programs/power-of-parents.

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