LAPS NEWS RELEASE
April is Alcohol Awareness Month. Prom and graduation are just around the corner. As we prepare for this season of celebrations, we encourage adults to talk with young people about the effects of underage drinking and about strategies for staying safe. It is never too early to start a conversation about responsible alcohol use.
According to the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, while children and youth can be swayed by peers, media, and the culture that surrounds them, parents remain the leading influence on their kids’ decisions to drink – or not to drink – alcohol. The Foundation’s website at responsibility.org uses research, facts, and communication strategies to support parents in starting a conversation and to help youth understand the why behind waiting to use drugs or alcohol. By explaining how alcohol and other substances affect the developing brain and body, this resource helps parents and caregivers open the lines of communication and answer children’s curious questions. Talking through scenarios can help youth anticipate consequences and prepare an exit strategy should they find themselves in an uncomfortable or unsafe situation.
Families can find helpful guidance on having conversations and communicating at this link. More information and videos about staying safe, cannabis and the developing brain, alcohol facts, and making healthy choices can be found by advancing to the next topic at the bottom of each article. Resources in Spanish can be found at this link: https://asklistenlearn.org/en-espanol/
The power of a conversation and setting clear expectations is negated when adults’ actions fail to match their words. Adults can help prevent underage drinking by modeling effective stress management strategies and using alcohol responsibly should they choose to drink.
The Los Alamos Public Schools district coordinates a spectrum of prevention activities that are provided by school staff and community partners with funding support from Los Alamos County. The aim of the program is to build protective factors, life skills, and resilience and reduce risk behaviors and harm to children and youth.
For more information or to offer suggestions to the LAPS Prevention Program, Prevention Support Specialist Kristine Coblentz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-663-2575.