New National Campaign Aims to Reduce Teens' "Social Sources" of Alcohol

New National Campaign Aims to Reduce Teens' "Social Sources" of Alcohol

We Don't Serve Teens, a new national campaign to reduce underage drinking, is focusing on the social sources that often provide teens with access to alcohol. The campaign's centerpiece is www.DontServeTeens.gov, a website sponsored by a coalition of public and private sector organizations, including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency.
Most teens who drink get alcohol from "social" sources - parents of other teens, older siblings, and other relatives and friends. People who provide alcohol to teens not only undermine the efforts of parents to protect their kids, they also break the law. The legal drinking age in the United States is 21. Studies show that adults strongly support this law - a recent national survey showed that most parents said the drinking age should remain 21 or be raised. But parents need help to make sure their teens don't have access to alcohol. "Don't serve alcohol to teens. This is the message to neighbors, relatives and friends," said April Rouzer, Washington County Health Department's Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator. "It's unsafe. It's illegal. It's irresponsible."
Rouzer added, "The age when drinking starts affects future drinking problems. For each year that the start of drinking is delayed, the risk of later alcohol dependence is reduced by 14 percent."
The FTC prepared and maintains www.DontServeTeens.gov. Other organizations providing assistance in disseminating program materials are: the U.S. Department of Treasury Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, the Century Council, Students Against Destructive Decisions, the National Liquor Law Enforcement Association, the Responsible Retailing Forum, the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, Inc., the National Consumers League, and the American Beverage Licensees.
For more information on stopping teens' easy access to alcohol, practical tips on talking to kids about alcohol and alcohol advertising, and what to say to friends and neighbors about serving alcohol to teens, visit www.DontServeTeens.gov.