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Group 401

Should You Drink With Your Kids?

ID-10097557Some parents think that underage drinking is okay if it’s done under adult supervision. Some think it’s the best way to introduce their kids to alcohol consumption. It’s time for those parents to think again. Underage drinking is never a good idea, for either the adults or the children under their care. Why?

1)  Parties, whether supervised or unsupervised by an adult, are high-risk settings for hazardous drinking behaviors:

  • binge drinking
  • alcohol-related injuries
  • sexual assaults
  • alcohol poisoning
  • property damage
  • other drug use.

Also, if you host such a party, you’re sending the message to your kids and their friends that underage drinking and breaking the law are okay. If it’s okay to drink at home or a friend’s house with adults present, then why not drink elsewhere? And if it’s okay to break this law, then what other laws can be broken?

2) Evidence proves that making alcohol accessible to teenagers increases the chance that they’ll continue to drink as they get older. A recent study by Columbia University’s National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse found that 90 percent of all Americans currently diagnosed with a drug addiction began using alcohol, tobacco, or other illicit substances in their teenage years. And let’s face it, adolescents are more likely to abuse alcohol and other drugs if their parents are permissive about alcohol use.

3) There are serious legal consequences for adults who provide alcohol to minors. It is illegal to provide alcohol to minors other than one’s children, and adults who do so can be financially and criminally liable. In addition to the embarrassment and humiliation of an arrest, you could be civilly liable for any injury that arises from the underage drinking, and you could face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine, You can be sued for damages, also. And laws establishing New York State-imposed liability for hosting underage drinking parties may apply without regard to who furnishes the alcohol. Adults are held responsible for parties that occur on their property whether or not they provided the alcohol to minors.

If you’re worried about your teenager and his or her drinking, or how to teach them responsibility about alcohol, please call or contact Horizon Health Services. We’d be happy to help.