- Alcoholism affects more people than diabetes, lung cancer, breast cancer, or heart attacks, and as many people as high blood pressure.
- Every year, about 12,000 people in the U.S. die from alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver.
- Every year close to 200,000 emergency room visits are a result of using alcohol with other drugs.
What teens do and what parents think they do are often two different things. Learn how to help your child navigate the challenging teen years.
Parent Guide – A practical guide for parents that provides information on networking, setting limits and local and state ordinances and laws.
Parent Tips – Tip sheet on how not to be a host to underage drinking when your teen gives a party, attends someone else’s party, or when you are away from home.
Statement of the Youth Problem
- Alcohol is the number one drug of choice for teens. It kills more kids than all illegal drugs combined. In the 2010 Fayette County KIP survey of 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th graders, alcohol is identified as the preferred drug at all grade levels.
- Underage drinking is a factor in the three leading causes of death among 15-24 year olds: accidents, homicides, and suicides.
- Click here for local data on underage drinking: 2010 KIP (Kentucky Incentives for Prevention) Survey Results – Fayette County
People who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who wait until age 21.
- The teen brain is still developing and research shows that this growth can be seriously inhibited by alcohol. Research on developing teen brain. http://ngm.nationalgeographic.
- Fact Sheet: www.nimh.nih.gov
- One in five teens binge drink. Only 1 in 100 parents believe their teen binge drinks. (Institute of Medicine, 2003) Full cite: Institute of Medicine National Research Council of the National Academies. Bonnie, Richard J. and Mary Ellen O’Connell, eds. Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2003.
- 78% of teenage pregnancies are unplanned. Do all the young people in YOUR life know the facts about alcohol and pregnancy? Alcohol is the most damaging substance to a developing baby – it causes more damage to the fetal brain than crack, heroin, tobacco or prescription drugs. Prevention begins before conception and YOU might be the only person who tells her what she needs to know about alcohol and unplanned pregnancy. www.kyfasd.org
Accessibility to alcohol:
Knowing where teens get alcohol is important to prevention efforts. The good news: teens report decreased accessibility to alcohol. But all grade levels indicate their #1 source of alcohol is “friends” and the #1 place they drink is at “friend’s homes”.
So the important question: Is your home the “friend’s home”?
Teens report that parental disapproval has increased slightly, a positive trend.
What are we doing
Parents Who Host Lose the Most Campaign: Don’t be a party to underage drinking
This community-wide initiative is educating adults about the local social host laws that hold you responsible if drinking occurs at your home – even if you are not the person furnishing the alcohol. Parents are encouraged to join others in pledging not to be a party to underage drinking.
Please look for the Parent Pledge below under the topic of “What you can do to help”. The more parents who join, the stronger the message to our young people that we have higher expectations of them than choosing to drink underage.
What you can do to help…
In your home: Take a stand and talk with your teens
- Talk with your child, set limits; be a positive role model.
- Who is the most powerful influence in your child’s life? You, that’s who, according to the Partnership at DrugFree.org For more information, see: http://www.drugfree.org/prevent
- Also see Parents, the Anti-Drug at http://www.theantidrug.com/advice/safeguarding-and-monitoring/conversation-tips/default.aspx
Be aware of alco-pops and how alcohol is marketed to teens. Alco-pops are fruity flavored drinks that can be confused with non-alcoholic drinks. Learn how to tell the difference and protect your teen. To view a video on alco-pops video featuring several members of our Youth Coalition for Alcohol Education, please contact Lynsey Sugarman at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Only host teen parties that are alcohol & drug-free
- Do not allow your children or their friends to consume alcohol or other drugs on your property
- Discourage your teens from attending unsupervised parties
Become a Campus Champion and help spread the drug-free message in your neighborhood school.
Contact us see how you can become involved in our coalition activities.
Keep track of our local efforts through the coalition calendar on our homepage.
What are the signs of abuse?
MADD the POWER OF PARENTS: Is Your Child Drinking?
Growing teens do get moody as hormones kick in and they face new challenges at school. But if your teen has been acting strangely—or if you’ve noticed a few unusual behaviors at once—it could mean your child is getting into trouble with alcohol.
Here’s what to watch for:
- Alcohol is missing from bottles or cans in your home
- Breath mints or mouthwash—these may be an attempt to mask the odor of alcohol
- More sluggish and passive than usual; doesn’t care as much about former interests or appearance
- Is unusually aggressive or rebellious
- Hangs around with different friends and is more secretive than usual
- Skipping school
- Grades are dropping
- Borrowing money more often
- Alcohol hidden in your teen’s backpack, car, or room
- Drunk and intoxicated behavior: your teen stumbles or moves awkwardly, has slurred speech and a dull, unfocused look or bloodshot eyes
See more at: www.madd.org/underage-drinking/the-power-of-parents/
Please click here for more information.
If you think or know your child is drinking or using drugs, it’s important to take action right away. The longer a situation is allowed, the more difficult and more expensive the treatment. Intervening early is always the better decision for your teen, for your family.
Also, please see the list of additional options under the “Substance Abuse Information” button on the home page.
Know the Laws: Relevant ordinances:
Please click on the Parent Guide above to review relevant laws and ordinances on underage drinking.
Illegal transaction with a minor
Kentucky law makes it illegal to knowingly sell, purchase or procure any alcohol or malt beverage in any form to or for a minor. KRS.530.070
Social host laws
In Fayette County, you can get in legal trouble if underage drinking occurs at your home – even if you are not the person furnishing the alcohol. RCO.3-23.1 Fayette Co.
Keg Registration Ordinance
Our coalition helped fund the implementation of the Keg Tracking Ordinance, passed in 2003, which requires registration for any beer kegs purchased in Fayette County. This enables law enforcement to identify who purchased the keg and has significantly cut down on the number of local underage “field parties”. Ordinance number 278-2003
Responsible Beverage Server Training
Our coalition supported this local ordinance, passed in 2006, which promotes responsible alcohol service by mandating training for sellers and servers of alcohol.
We encourage interested people to contact the KY Alcoholic Beverage Control to learn more about the S.T.A.R. (Server Training in Alcohol Regulations) training program, which gives individuals the tools to be a positive force in reducing alcohol-related problems.
http://abc.ky.gov Ordinance number 282-2005
Fayette Co. Public Schools Code of conduct: lists the consequences and expectations of Fayette Co. Public School students
Citizens who are concerned about alcohol-related violations in their neighborhood are encouraged to call the Lexington Division of Police. Click on this link to find a list of police contacts.
www.Bluegrasscrimestoppers.com Bluegrass Crime Stoppers is a private program that provides community members with a phone number and web tips to encourage citizens to volunteer vital information helpful to law enforcement agencies to fight crime.