Archive for Friday, April 13, 2012

Lawrence parents get advice on how to combat teen-aged drinking

April 13, 2012


Speakers Friday at a forum aimed at curbing underage drinking urged parents to initiate talks with teenagers early about the dangers of alcohol abuse and continue them often.

“It’s important for parents to know that study after student has consistently shown that kids who are permitted to drink in their (parents’) homes drink more often and drink more outside the home when their parents are not around,” said Jen Jordan, a member of the Draw the Line Lawrence coalition and prevention coordinator at DCCCA.

A crowd of about 75 people attended the event at The Granada, 1020 Mass., and Jordan said national statistics show college students are less likely to drink and binge drink if their parents follow guidelines from Mothers Against Drunk Driving and have consistent and positive communication with them before they reached college.

Here are other tips participants in a panel discussion gave to parents:

• Have the talk, ideally when your child is in junior high school.

“Don’t ever assume that they don’t need that talk or that they don’t need to hear what you think and how you believe,” said Dustin Chase, a Lawrence police neighborhood resource officer. “Let them know that even if they do mess up, you’re going to be there for them.”

“Have this discussion with other parents of your kids’ peer group, like how they monitor what happens at their house,” said Nancy Renfro, a Lawrence parent.

• Know where your kids are going and who they are with, especially on weekends.

“Communication is paramount. Stay involved in their lives and know what they’re doing on a weekend,” said Jim Spence, an Kansas Alcoholic Beverage Control agent.

• Try to balance a trusting relationship with your child as well.

“My mom sat me down and said this is what it does to your body. This is what can happen, and I don’t condone that,” said Tommy Kitchen, a Lawrence High School senior. “And I respect my mom enough to know that underage drinking is not appropriate.”

• Make sure they are aware of the consequences.

“You might be the next joke on Facebook. There’s sexual assault. There’s all kinds of things that happen that normally wouldn’t happen if you made choices not to drink,” said Elizabeth Scheib, another Lawrence parent.

“The earlier age one starts drinking, the more likely they are to develop an abuse or dependent-type situation,” Ashley Countryman, clinical coordinator of addiction services for DCCCA.

John Drees, community education specialist for Lawrence Memorial Hospital, said LMH’s emergency room sees effects of alcohol abuse often from chronic abuse to alcohol poisoning to potential sexually assaults or other injuries due to fights and even dangerous accidents.

“You just pick a night in Lawrence, and it’s happening every night,” Drees said.

Chase said in addition to criminal penalties for being a minor in possession, binge drinking increases the risk people won’t practice sound judgement and could drive drunk or even walk home alone in an area their unfamiliar with, which is also dangerous. Adults who provide a place for underage drinking also run the risk of being prosecuted under social hosting laws.


costello 6 years ago

I agree with reneekangaroo. I'm a teetotaller and have no alcohol in my house. My son found plenty of people to provide him with booze. I remember one night when he was 18 and still in high school, the police drove him all the way home from a party. The next day I called the 33 year old loser who'd apparently thrown a party for a bunch of kids in his appartment. I still can't figure out why - the guy didn't have any kids of his own. I guess he just liked to hang out with drunk teenagers. Anyway when I asked him why he was giving my underage son alcohol, he said, "People do drink, you know."

One of my neighbors gave their son a party with beer for his 18th birthday party. They bought a bunch of booze for their kid and his friends and left the house for the evening. I live in the country, so I'm sure we had a bunch of drunk kids driving the county roads that night.

So just saying "don't drink yourself" isn't enough.

chocolateplease 6 years ago


"“It’s important for parents to know that study after student has consistently shown that kids who are"

-- study after student?

greenworld 6 years ago

The best way is to have your kids drink with their parents and when they see how dumb and stupid their parents look that they wont want to look the same.

Curtis Lange 6 years ago

Is this the drinking version of abstinence? In other words, dumb. How about we teach people how to drink responsibly instead of ignoring the drinking. "it's illegal for them to drink." And? When has that stopped anyone from doing anything?

Jayhawk_4_Life 6 years ago

exactly why alcoholism isn't near as big of problem in Europe as it is here.

James Findley 6 years ago

How about this.. teach your kids to drink as teenagers and you won't see them die as young adults.. Nothing like unleashing your children into the shizshow that is college uneducated and under prepared..

treeforest 6 years ago

College students are fully aware of the dangers of alcohol and many still drink themselves into oblivion. Perhaps the problem is that society condones drinking, glorifies it almost. You can't walk down Mass street for ten feet without running into a bar. It's considered hilarious for somebody to get so drunk they act like an imbecile, embarrass themselves, puke on the ground, pass out in the middle of the living room floor. This is why young people drink: they think it's cool, and they don't care if it's physically harmful. Combating teenage drinking needs to start somewhere other than telling them it's harmful to their bodies.

gsxr600 6 years ago

I've witnessed it time and time again. People who tried alcohol in high school are a lot more responsible with it in college and beyond. It's the ones that were held down by their parents that go wild and crazy.

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