• Q

      Should I allow supervised underage drinking at home in order to teach my child responsible drinking habits?

       
    • A

      NO. Researchers followed 428 families in the Netherlands over a three-year period, and found that young people whose parents permitted drinking at home were more likely to drink more, to drink out of the home, and to develop alcohol problems over time. A recent study of 1,388 young people and their parents in Chicago followed the children from ages 12 to 14, and found that those who reported at age 12 receiving alcohol from their parents at home were significantly more likely by age 14 to have been drunk or to have had five or more drinks at a time in the past two weeks. Young people who start drinking before age 15 are five times more likely to develop alcohol problems. Keeping alcohol away from young people seems to have a clear result: it delays initiation of alcohol use. http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/17/should-parents-be-jailed-when-kids-drink/?src=mv

       
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    • Q

      Is there proof that underage drinking can cause brain impairment?

       
    • A

      It is a well-accepted fact that the brain goes through dramatic change and refinement during the ages of 10-25 (Huttenlocher, 1979; Geidd et al., 1999; Silveri and Spear, 2002). Alcohol is a depressant and affects a teen developing brain differently than a mature adult brain. Early and heavy alcohol use has been shown to negatively affect teen brain development. Alcohol use can cause the brains of teen drinkers to respond more positively to alcohol images and cues than non-drinking teens. - “It has recently become clear that there is a tremendous amount of brain development taking place during adolescence. . . . Alcohol, and perhaps other drugs, affect both behavior and brain function differently in adolescents than adults, and adolescents may be more vulnerable to the long-term effects of alcohol abuse.” (White, Duke University) (NAS report). - “Brain size was compared between youth with adolescent-onset alcohol use disorders and healthy matched comparison youth using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Youth with alcohol use disorders had significantly smaller left and right hippocampi, central brain regions critical for the formation of new memories” (De Bellis et al., 2000) (NAS report). - Researcher Aaron White at Duke University describes in his website how alcohol negatively affects the formation of long-term memories in the hippocampus, noting that alcohol “severely disrupts brain cells' ability to establish long-lasting, heightened responsiveness to signals from other cells (Bliss and Collinridge 1993).”2 - “A large college survey reported that youth with grade point averages at the D or F level drink three times as much as those who earn A grades” (Presley, Meilman, and Lyerla, 1994) (NAS report). Want more information about the effects of underage drinking on the developing brain, check out these studies in more depth….(link to faqparentsempowered pdf and unserage drinking tabloid)

       
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    • Q

      What are the laws and penalties associated with underage alcohol use or possession in Idaho?

       
    • A

      - It is illegal for those under 21 to drink, buy, possess, transport, or have open alcohol. Penalties for a minor in possession of alcohol: first offense can be a fine up to $1,000 and up to one year drivers’ license suspension. - It is illegal to have a fake ID to purchase alcohol. Penalty is a general misdemeanor: up to $1,000 fine, 6 months in jail. - Those who refuse alcohol tests when driving a motor vehicle and stopped by a law enforcement officer could lose their license and get points on their driving record. - In Idaho, people under the age of 21 who are found with a blood alcohol level of .02-.07 face charges of Underage Driving Under the Influence with a first offense maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and a one year driver’s license suspension. Visit the Alcohol Policy Information System: Idaho State Profile of Underage Drinking Laws http://alcoholpolicy.niaaa.nih.gov/APIS_State_Profile.html?state=ID

       
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    • Q

      What are some easy steps to start today to help my child remain alcohol free?

       
    • A

      1.Explain the risks: Emphasize it is a dangerous drug for a teen brain 2.Talk early and often: 8 years old is not too early to start 3.Set clear rules: make no exceptions for underage drinking 4.Know your child’s friends and their parents: 5.Monitor children’s activities: With whom? Where? When? What parents are there? 6.Make alcohol unavailable: whether you have to lock the cabinets or remove alcohol completely from your home 7.Be involved: develop close bonding experiences and have daily positive interactions 8.Stay in contact: give them a call or text, remind them you love them and not to drink alcohol. 9.Eat dinner together: research shows that teens who regularly eat as a family (5-7 times per week) are 33% less likely to use alcohol.

       
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    • Q

      What can I do as a community member to combat underage drinking?

       
    • A

      Contact local schools and community groups. Community groups are working together to reduce the availability and access of alcohol to youth as well as related issues such as: Alcohol advertising, Checking of ID’s, Alcoholic energy drinks, Alcohol and underage parties, Shoulder-tapping, Theft of alcohol

       
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    • Q

      How much and how often do Idaho’s teens drink alcohol?

       
    • A

      The High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey, Idaho 2009 (grades 9-12): 62.5% Ever had at least one drink of alcohol on one day during their lifetime, 19.2% Drank alcohol for the first time before the age of 13 years, 34.2% Had at least one drink of alcohol on at least one day during the last 30 days before the survey, 22.3% Had five or more drinks of alcohol in a row within a couple of hours on at least one day in the past 30 days before the survey, 41.4% Usually obtained the alcohol they drank by someone giving it to them (among those who drank within past 30 days before the survey), 3.5% had at least one drink of alcohol on school property on at least one day in the past 30 days before the survey.

       
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    • Q

      Is my child drinking alcohol?

       
    • A

      The 2009 U.S. Youth Risk Behavior Survey revealed that among high school students… 42% drank some amount of alcohol, 24% binge drank, 10% drove after drinking alcohol, 28% rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol In the past 30 DAYS!!!! Check out the quick tips and warning signs to the right to see if your child may be consuming alcohol.

       
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  • Associating with a new group of friends whom your child refuses to discuss
  • Heightened secrecy about actions or possessions
  • Uncharacteristic withdrawal from family, friends or interests
  • Sudden resistance to discipline at school
  • Losing interest in school, sports or other activities that used to be important
  • Sudden decline in attendance or performance at school
  • Abrupt changes in mood or attitude
  • Smell of alcohol on breath, or sudden, frequent use of breath mints