Parents Who Host, Lose the Most: Don't be a party to underage drinking

April is Alcohol Awareness month, as well as the beginning of the prom, graduation, and summer party season. Therefore, it is time for all responsible adults to bring the topic of safe behavior to the attention of the teens we love. It is also time to remind parents of the dangers of hosting underage drinking parties.

This is known as Social Hosting and in 2014, Indiana passed a law prohibiting anyone from “furnishing property for the purpose of enabling minors to consume alcohol." That means that if underage drinking is taking place in your home or on your property, owned or rented, you are responsible.

Hosting a party where alcohol is available to underage youth is illegal and can pose serious health risks and legal ramifications for everyone involved.

Parents should understand that taking away the car keys does not solve all of the problems related to underage drinking.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least six youth under 21 die every day from non-driving alcohol-related causes (such as drowning and suicide), and sexual activity and delinquent behaviors increase with underage drinking.

Recent research on brain development has clearly demonstrated that young brains develop more quickly in the sensation-seeking, impulsive areas before the areas that make good decisions and think through consequences. Adults providing alcohol to underage youth send a mixed message and can only add to a teenager’s confusion about the acceptability of drinking.

They are also sending the message to teens that they do not have to obey the law. Research shows that most teenagers appreciate it when their parents set boundaries and establish expectations that are fairly enforced, which means adults do not need to apologize for deciding what is safe and healthy for teens.

To bring public awareness to this law, the Alcohol & Addictions Resource Center (AARC) is unveiling a campaign entitled Parents Who Host, Lose the Most: Don’t be a party to underage drinking.

This campaign provides good information to parents about the health risks and legal consequences of providing alcohol to youth.

In addition, the campaign encourages parents and the community to send a unified message that teen alcohol consumption is not acceptable. For more information call AARC – (574) 234-6024.

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