There is a wonderful website for a group based in Columbus, Ohio called the Drug-Free Action Alliance. Their mission is to provide leadership and foster networks to promote safe and drug free communities throughout Ohio. They want to increase public awareness of substance abuse and its harmful effects and the role of Drug-Free Action Alliance in substance abuse prevention.
They have an excellent article on their website, which I am going to include below as it addresses something that we hear about every year at this time... parents who host parties for teens and serve (or permit) alcohol at these parties. The article is entitled "Parents Who Host, Lose The Most".
Don’t be a party to teenage drinking
Parents play a major role in their children’s choices about alcohol, tobacco or other drugs. In a recent national survey of parents and teens by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, one-third of teen partygoers have been to parties where teens were drinking alcohol, smoking pot, or using cocaine, Ecstasy or prescription drugs while a parent was present. By age 17, nearly half (46 percent) of teens have been at such parties where parents were present.
Drug-Free Action Alliance has developed the “Parents Who Host, Lose The Most: Don’t be a party to teenage drinking” public awareness campaign to provide parents with accurate information about the health risks of underage drinking and the legal consequences of providing alcohol to youth. The campaign encourages parents and the community to send a unified message at prom and graduation time that teen alcohol consumption is not acceptable. It is illegal, unsafe, and unhealthy for anyone under age 21 to drink alcohol.Here are the facts:
- Parents who give alcohol to their teen’s friends under any circumstances, even in their own homes, are breaking the law.
- Parents who knowingly allow a person under 21 to remain in their home or on their property while consuming or possessing alcoholic beverages can be prosecuted and everything associated with such a violation can be confiscated, including personal property.
- Parents can be sued if they give alcohol to anyone under 21 and they in turn hurt someone, hurt themselves or damage property.Underage use of alcohol is a serious problem that too often leads to harmful consequences for youth and their families. Parents can protect themselves and their teens by following these guidelines when hosting parties for their children:
- Host safe, alcohol-free activities and events for youth during prom and graduation season
- Refuse to supply alcohol to children or allow drinking in your home or on your property
- Be at home when your teenager has a party
- Make sure your teenager’s friends do not bring alcohol into your home
- Talk to other parents about not providing alcohol at youth events
- Report underage drinking
There is still time to pull together an alcohol-free party for your school's senior prom, get the After Prom Party Guide - and get busy!