National Prevention Week Tips


May 10-16, 2020 is National Prevention Week, which is hosted by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). The focus is on increasing substance use prevention and promoting mental health. Each day this week, a topic is dedicated to helping increase substance use prevention and promoting mental health and wellness.

Today’s topic is on Preventing Underage drinking and Alcohol Misuse 

Here are some questions to consider:

–           How do you discuss underage drinking with your children? 

–           What is alcohol misuse?

–           What is their understanding of drinking alcohol?

–           Why do people drink alcohol?

–           Is there a conversation on the dangers and risks in underage drinking?

These are just a few questions to ask yourself to get a better picture on the perception and understanding your children have when it comes to underage alcohol use and misuse.

Can you believe that each

Alcoholic beverage listed is

Considered to be ONE

Standard drink?


Here are a few consequences to consider:

  • School problems, such as higher absence and poor or failing grades.
  • Social problems, such as fighting and lack of participation in youth activities.
  • Legal problems, such as arrest for driving or physically hurting someone while drunk.
  • Physical problems, such as hangovers or illnesses.
  • Higher risk for suicide and homicide.
  • Alcohol-related car crashes and other unintentional injuries, such as burns, falls, and drowning.
  • Memory problems

Often times, when a teenager or adolescent is told “You can’t do that, because I said so”, “end of story”, “I’m older than you and know better”, “Never do it” etc, it is only natural to experience curiosity and confusion. Although the parent does have more life experience and is responsible for guiding and teaching their children, a child can perceive the above-mentioned responses as being dismissed or “shut out”, which can create a desire to defy or rebel. Also, teens can consider underage drinking as an “escape” from their reality or feelings. The best way to spread awareness and prevention around this matter is to          TALK ABOUT IT!

Allow an environment for your children to feel comfortable and emotionally safe to talk. Help them understand the effects alcohol has on the brain and their overall development. Eventually, you child is going to be influenced by music lyrics, advertising, peers and social media, so why not be a reliable source to them?

Hope this is helpful,

Wishing you all the best,

                                                                                  Jennifer Distefano