Starting the conversation about underage drinking

Have you recently heard a spot on the local radio, seen a billboard along the highway, or noticed an advertisement on area buses featuring parents talking about underage drinking? If so, then you may have experienced a brand new Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) prevention initiative in action!

The ILCC's Parental Responsibility campaign, which kicked off in 2012, is running public service announcements via a variety of mediums asking parents to start the conversation with their kids about not drinking alcohol. The media blitz offers suggestions for parents on how to talk to their pre-teens before their high school years.

Focusing on this younger age group can pay big prevention dividends later. For example, one campaign message notes that children who start drinking before the age of 15 are five times more likely to become alcohol dependent later in life than those who waited until the legal drinking age of 21 (Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention).

It is imperative that parents talk to their kids “early and often” to avoid the dangers of underage drinking. Do you really want to wait until a tragedy happens before starting the conversation with your kids? The latest Illinois Youth Survey revealed that three in four students choose not to drink because they do not want to disappoint their parents.

Parents, you are the biggest influence in your children’s lives. Don’t disappoint your kids, keep them safe, and remember to always talk to them about not drinking!

For more information about the ILCC’s Parental Responsibility campaign, please contact Laura Murphy at 312-814-3083 or via email Funding for this program was obtained through a federal grant from SAMSHA, and is administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services..

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