Family Talk program curbs teen drinking

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

According to the 2009 GfK Roper Youth Report, 68 percent of youth ages 8 to 17 cite their parents as the number 1 influence on their decisions about whether they drink alcohol or not. In addition, government research shows that teens who report drinking usually get alcohol from adults.

To help prevent underage drinking, the Family Talk program encourages open, honest communication between parents and children. Developed by an advisory panel of education, family counseling, child psychology and alcohol treatment professionals, Family Talk materials are distributed free to parents and educators by Anheuser-Busch and its national network of distributors. These materials may be downloaded at www.familytalkonline.com in English and Spanish.

Progress is being made in the fight against underage drinking, by raising awareness and through sound educational programs and strong partnerships. In fact, 85 percent of adolescents ages 12 to 17 are doing the right thing by not drinking, according to the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that teen drunk-driving fatalities have declined 34 percent since 2000.