Adolescents Category in Blog

April is Alcohol Awareness Month

teen

Founded and sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism, Inc. (NCADD), this year’s theme is Talk Early, Talk Often: Parents Can Make a Difference in Teen Alcohol Use.

No other substance is more widely used and abused by America’s youth than alcohol. Recent studies have shown that “one in five American high-school seniors abuses (abuses-not just uses) alcohol at least twice a month…American adolescents are among the most frequent binge drinkers in the world.” (Age of Opportunity, Laurence Steinberg, Ph.D.)

Parents play a significant role in preventing and reducing the incidence of underage drinking and drug use. Fostering healthy and responsible attitudes, talking openly and honestly, encouraging supportive relationships, and showing children that their opinions and decisions matter, are all ways to help prevent the use of alcohol and drugs.

Research has shown that kids who have conversations with their parents (or other adult influencers) are 50 percent less likely to use alcohol and drugs than those who don’t have such conversations.

At Hallways, we work with students to build protective factors that help them to handle the stress, peer pressure, loneliness and disappointment that are part of being an adolescent. And we provide parents and educators with tools to foster critical skills in young people, such as healthy decision making, social connectedness, and thinking critically about social norms regarding drinking and drugs.

Connection is the best prevention. This is one of our favorite sayings at Freedom Institute and Hallways.  So start the conversation. Explain why you want your child to make good decisions. Find out about the pressures – academic, social, and emotional – that they are experiencing. And really listen — and hear — what your kids are saying. It is the first step in prevention.

To learn more about the Hallways school program, visit www.hallways.org or contact Rachel Henes at: 212-980-1070.