How do you stop what you don't know?
In March of 2012, Officer Jermaine Galloway shared his expertise with community members in identifying products aimed at youth that contain pro drug messages. Parents, coalition members, service providers, educators, and law enforcement staff took part in a three hour training where they learned about logos, clothing, and accessories that might indicate use among young people. He spoke of the increasing availability of products with a pro drug message in shopping malls in shops where youth often frequent. Galloway also showed examples of alcohol products packaged in a way that make it difficult to discern the difference between them and energy drinks and then shared how to quickly scan for alcohol in products. Prior to the presentation Galloway scanned a few shops to look for availability of these items in the local communities and found them present.
Officer Galloway is widely recognized as a national speaker on preventing substance abuse among youth. He is the recipient of OJJCP Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 2009 and the recipient of the 2010 National Mickey Sadoff Award by MADD for Efforts in Underage Drinking Prevention. He will be a keynote speaker at the 2012 DARE International Conference. He has given presentations to over 15,000 people since 2007. Below is one reporter’s article on a similar presentation given elsewhere for those of you unable to meet in him person.
Article by Andrew Adams http://www.ksl.com/?sid=19029280&nid=148
Moms and Dads as EVERYDAY Heroes
It's the little things that we do in our daily parenting that have the biggest impact on our children. Check out the link below to see a list of parental behaviors that, when done regularly, help kids to avoid pitfalls. The links within the article are related to alcohol use, but the behaviors could apply to preventing a host of other parental concerns.
When it’s time for “The Talk”- Having crucial confrontations with your teen.
Some time in your life your child’s behavior will arouse a jumble of negative feelings; anger, fear, a fierce need to protect. Usually those moments require you, as a responsible parent, to confront the child about his or her actions. It’s hard for anyone’s brain to function well when the instincts from our caveman ancestors are channeling “fight or flight” through the entire body. Research shows that if you build your crucial conversation skills, you can handle these emotionally charged situations in a way that improves behaviors and relationships. The link below will help to build your skills in handling high stress confrontations. You’ll also find a printable PDF file for quick review when you prepare for “the talk.”
No one knows your child like you do. We only offer some potential ideas to help you. If you find a way to stay better connected with your child, you help us with our mission of providing a safe and nurturing environment so all youth can reach their fullest potential.
Youth who drink early in life are more likely to have a substance abuse disorder as an adult, be depressed, have unprotected sex, get into fights, be a victim of an assault, and have lower grades in school. The younger the age a child starts drinking, the higher the risks for developing an alcohol dependency problem sometime in their life. A person who is drinking at age 14 has about a 50/50 chance of becoming an alcoholic, while someone who begins drinking at age 21 has only a 1 in 10 chance if there is no family history of alcoholism.
Overall, the age that youth start taking their first full drink of alcohol is lowering in the U.S. In 1965 the average age of onset was 17½ years; in 2003 the average age of onset was about 14. In the past, serious alcohol problems typically showed up in middle age. Recent reports indicate that 53% of the alcoholics in the U.S. are age 26 or less. They and their families have an extra burden to carry in that young alcoholics typically require more treatment to successfully recover from abusing. Young people typically don’t get treatment for drug disorders until they have had problems with the law.
How You Can Help
As one person
- Talk to your child about alcohol. No one is more strategically placed to stop underage drinking in your child than you. One aspect of prevention is tenacious parenting. It is an ongoing communication about your expectations and rules. It is finding the teachable moments to introduce the topic of alcohol use. It is about asking and verifying the who,what, where, and when questions. It is about supervision of what kids are doing out in the community and what they are hooking up with at home via technology. It is listening closely and responding with honesty.
- Shut off the TV. Sit at a table and share frequent family meals with your children. The more often you eat together the more likely that your children will wait to drink alcohol and abstain from smoking tobacco and marijuana. Frequent family meals have other intellectual, social, emotional, and physical benefits as well. You might choose to participate by pledging to have at least four meals a week for three months. Click here to sign up.
- Refuse to allow youth access to alcohol in your home. Monitor the alcohol in your home and don’t make it easy for youth to get to it. In listening sessions with Hamilton County youth, we learned that kids will steal one beer at a time from their home until they have stockpiled enough for a party. Don’t allow underage drinking parties in your home. Iowa law states that an underage drinker must have his/her parent’s consent and presence in order to drink legally.
- Model safe use of alcohol. Kids copy the behavior of the important adults in their lives. If you drink excessively, then it is more likely that your child will too. Medical experts tell us that women may drink one and men two alcoholic drinks with some benefit to the cardiovascular system and little harm to the other systems in our body. However, the unique molecular makeup of alcohol in drinks makes it soluble in both water and fats at the cellular level. Therefore it affects every organ system within the body and has been described as a “pharmacological grenade.”
- Respect an individual’s right not to drink. Part of our culture is to be sociable by offering an abundance of food and drink. When others refuse our generosity we continue to pressure them to accept. When you are offering refreshments, always include non-alcoholic alternatives and respect other’s right to say no.
- Learn more about alcohol prevention. A few generations ago parents were teaching their children how to be safe from the dangers in the wild. In more recent history, preventing youth from human predators became a greater concern for parents. Now with more teens engaging in alcohol use at age 14 and 15, it is critical that parents become more knowledgeable about protecting the lives and future of the children from the dangers of alcohol. Below are some respected resources to help you learn more.
As one of many
- Get involved with Power Up YOUth. Power Up YOUth is tackling the problem by addressing our youth’s easy access to alcohol, the aspects of our culture that promote underage drinking, and the lack of parental awareness of the problem and by providing parents with prevention skills
One of the founding principles of Power Up YOUth is that collaboration is essential if our vision is to be realized. A common belief acknowledged by all members is that one or two youth-serving entities cannot affect the type of global change that we desire. Therefore, representatives of law enforcement, education, religion, addiction recovery centers, youth-serving agencies, media, parents, and youth are on our board. By working together and linking our time, talents and treasures, we find creative, cost effective solutions that build strong and healthy kids in strong and healthy communities.
Power Up YOUth
501 Bank Street, Suite 4
Webster City, IA 50595