We know that most of our teens are choosing not to drink. Binge drinking among Sullivan County high school students has dropped dramatically, from around 40% of teens reporting they had had five or more drinks on one occasion in 2001—the highest rate in the state—to only 23.5% in 2011, below the state average.
But we also face a serious challenge: Most Sullivan County teenagers say they get their alcohol from adults.
Here are some tips for keeping your teens safe:
- Talk to them and tell them how important it is they make safe choices. The facts show that when parents send a strong message, kids are 59% less likely to drink, 67% less likely to binge drink, and 75% less likely to smoke.
- Make sure you know where your kids are going and when they’ll be home. Don’t be afraid to call the parents hosting a party and ask them what will be going on.
- You can provide a fun alternative. A scary movie night with good friends can be just as much fun as a party.
- Continue to model good behavior. Don’t make getting drunk the point of drinking. Have fun with your kids without alcohol.
- It is a crime to serve youth under 21 alcohol. “We’ll take the keys” is not safe and is illegal. New Hampshire’s Party Host Liability Law can include fines and jail time for adults who host an underage drinking party.
- Remember, youth under 21 caught drinking can lose their car or license, and may be fined up to $2,000.
- If you are concerned about an underage drinking party, you can call 211 confidentially and safely. If you call before a party, police can do a ‘knock and talk’ that will warn the party hosts of the law. This stops the party from ever happening and can keep people safe. (In neighboring Windsor County, Vermont, call or text 1-800-4TEEN-11.)