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Let's draw the line between youth and alcohol | GUEST OP
As the end of the school year approaches, students and parents alike look forward with much anticipation, excitement, and reservation – graduation. Students and families are making plans for events that take place before and after graduation; as well as for the rest of the summer. Decisions made now can affect families for the rest of their lives.
Most kids in Kent make healthy choices and choose not to drink or use drugs. However, now is a time that many youth will nevertheless be faced with a tough decision about using them. As parents we must talk with our students about not only the dangers of drugs and alcohol, but also what to do if they find themselves in situations that may put them at risk. Remember, drinking alcohol is not a rite of passage, and even good kids drink and use drugs.
Make a plan with them if they find themselves at a party where there is alcohol. What could they say to leave the party without feeling uncomfortable? Let them know that they can call you anytime for a safe ride home without judgment. Reinforce the dangers of driving or riding in a car with someone who has been drinking or using drugs – even one drink is unsafe and illegal. It is essential that communication and clear rules are established. Talk with them about graduation events; talk with other parents as well. Better yet, offer to host or plan a post graduation party, ensuring that it will be alcohol free.
YOU are the main influence on your student's choice to not drink. For more information on how to prevent underage drinking and ideas of how to talk to your kids go to www.starttalkingnow.org.
To find out how you can help in our community and to learn more about the Kent Drug Free Coalition and the Kent Police Youth Board, contact 253-856-5883 or email@example.com.
Submitted in collaboration by the Kent Drug Free Coalition, King County Target Zero Task Force and the Kent Police Department.