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New public service campaign encourages parents to talk to their kids to prevent underage drinking

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 12:47pm

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, SAMHSA, launched a new, public service campaign to highlight the dangers of underage drinking.

Statistics show that the number of young people who consume alcohol for the very first time doubles during the months of June and July.

Sandra Sanchez, a UTEP student, said she has noticed the trend.

"Especially with high schoolers with prom and graduation coming up, and everybody leaving to college, they celebrate a lot and they celebrate with drinking," she said.

That is part of the reason health officials are encouraging parents to talk to their kids right now.  The "Talk. They Hear You." campaign urges parents to start talking to their kids as young as nine years old.

Experts insist kids do hear what we say as parents, even if they act like they don't.

Roberto Florido who is 18 years old, said he used to drink alcohol frequently, even though he is not 21 years old.

"When you're on alcohol, you're not in your right mindset," said Florido.

He thinks things could have been different if his parents had taken a different approach.

"Parents show a little bit more concern about the child, and work with them a little bit more and are more hands on with the child and talk with them, ask them about their day," he said.

The campaign kicks off a national prevention week dedicated to increasing awareness of substance abuse and mental health issues.



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