Teens Who Drink Too Much
May 15, 2000 -- Teenage drinking is on the rise, and a number of
organizations nationwide have introduced programs to help parents and teens
identify problem drinking before it does long-term damage. Jeffry Hon, speaking
for the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), a
66-year-old volunteer organization, says that starting early is key.
"Parents should start educating their children on alcohol use from the
moment they are able to observe behavior. A toddler may not be articulate
enough to ask questions, but when daddy comes home, goes straight to the
fridge, and says, 'Don't bother me until I've had a beer,' that sends a message
to a young child that may not be appropriate."
This list of tips for parents compiled by the nonprofit Oregon Partnership stresses
the importance of good communication as the years go by. Here's a list of that
organization's "Strategies to build a stronger relationship with your
- Start talking with your child in grade school about the dangers of alcohol,
tobacco, and drug use.
- Let teens know you disapprove of drug use and underage drinking and
- Set rules and consequences for teenage drinking, tobacco, and drug
- Do not serve alcohol to anyone underage.
- Do not allow unchaperoned parties at your house.
- Call host's parents to ensure that parties your children are attending are
supervised and alcohol-free.
- Get involved in parent support groups.
- If you choose to drink, set a good example by limiting your own use of
alcohol, and never use alcohol as a way of coping with problems.
- If your teenager has a drinking or drug problem, seek professional
Jeanie Puleston Fleming written for The New York Times, Sunset, and