Communicating With Kids about Drugs and Alcohol


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The holidays are upon us once again and teachable moments are everywhere. It is a time in which we parents need to be reminded that our actions speak louder than words; we need to be responsible and think carefully around our children.

Guilford County is a wonderful place to live, yet we continue to hear of tragic stories over the holiday season of drunk and drugged driving. According to last year’s “Booze It & Lose It,” Campaign, a part of North Carolina’s Governor’s Highway Safety Program, 6,258 people were arrested for DWI last year; 918 of them were under the age of 21. An additional 3,763 people were arrested for other drug violations while driving on our roads and highways. With that information, I offer some words of caution and advice on how to make the most of your holiday season while ensuring a safe and happy New Year for all.

1. Be aware of the messages that you are sending to your children when you pop the cork of the bottle of champagne or have “just one more.”
2. If you are going to a holiday gathering, please have a designated driver.
3. If you are hosting a party at which underage youth are drinking, even if you don’t know about it, you could be prosecuted by law.
4. Know where your child is celebrating his/her holiday. If they will be at a friend’s house, know that friend’s parents and ask if alcohol will be served as well as adult supervision.
5. If you are not comfortable about the safety of your child attending a holiday party, say “no.” It could mean your child’s life.
6. Have an agreement with the parents of your child’s friends: no alcohol, no drugs, and no sex in any of the homes. Tell your child that you have made this agreement.

To further equip parents and caregivers, the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign has a great website at www.theantidrug.com in which you can obtain further tools and resources on how to raise healthy, drug-free kids.

Let’s work together to make Guilford County and the Triad safer for our kids.

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