A Guide for Parents: Preventing Alcohol Use During the Holidays

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On an average day in June, July and December, over 11,000 teens will use alcohol for the first time. This is about double the amount in other months. One thing these months have in common is that these are school-free vacation times. If you have teenagers, you might be worried about leaving them home alone while you are at work, out shopping or a party at night. Whether your child has had drug and alcohol trouble before or not, you want to make sure they are safe when you’re away.

Display Trust

Ask them to babysit younger siblings, even if they complain they will see that you trust them to be alone and that you believe they are trustworthy. Encourage them to hang out at friends’ houses. this way you can be sure a parent will be keeping a close eye but your child will know you can trust them to be out from your eagle-eye.

Keep Talking to Them

High school drama, final exams, stressful extended family visiting — these are a lot for a teenager to go through at once. Ask your kids how they are and encourage them to speak up, judgement-free, if they they need help. They might ignore you, but they like knowing that you are taking the time to ask after them when you are so busy. If they express feeling depressed, tired or stressed out, take them to a doctor. This little preventative action can keep your teen healthy and from abusing drugs and alcohol.

Back From Treatment?

Keep relatives from asking tough or triggering questions and make sure your child is making the right choices when it comes to friends. Make sure that your child is going to their appointments and keeping to an agreed upon schedule.

Overall, if you are hosting a party in your home make sure you enforce a no alcohol policy to your children, if you allow them one glass that is a signal it’s fine to drink underage. If you are worried about your teen sneaking alcohol, keep track of all alcohol you or your guests bring into your home.

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