A campaign aimed at reducing underage drinking was launched in Grundy County in September 2015. The goal of “BE THEIR GUIDE. Don’t Provide.” is to educate parents and caregivers on the risks associated with alcohol use and empower them to help their children resist the pressure to drink coming from peers and media messages. Materials for the campaign are designed to educate parents and help them start and continue conversations with their children.
The 2014 Illinois Youth Survey (IYS) found that one-third of Grundy County 10th graders and one-half of 12th graders drank alcohol in the past month. The survey also revealed that 17% of 10th graders and 28% of 12th graders said they had engaged in binge drinking during the previous two weeks.
Providing alcohol to anyone under age 21 is illegal. So where are Grundy County youth getting alcohol? Adults, including parents, are frequent providers of alcohol to youth. When youth who reported drinking in the past year were asked in the IYS where they got alcohol, 34% of 10th graders and 40% of 12th graders said they obtained alcohol from a parent with permission.
Unfortunately, many parents don’t realize the potential damage that can result from making alcohol easily available to their underage children.
Ninety percent of addictions start in the teenage years when the brain is growing and developing. Underage drinking threatens the health and safety of youth in other ways, too, including:
- vehicle crashes
- fights and violence
- alcohol poisoning
- sexual assault
- unprotected sex
- unintended pregnancy
Every adult – whether parent, teacher, mentor or community leader – has the opportunity to be a positive force in the life of a child through alcohol education and open dialogue. The GrundyParents.org campaign is aimed at fostering that conversation. Join in the campaign today. BE THEIR GUIDE. Don’t Provide.