Press Release | Mon April 02, 2018, 02:16 PM EST
(Tinley Park, IL; March 2018) - High school prom is a milestone celebrated by nearly every American teenager. It’s also the night when many teens are permitted to borrow the family car and drive unchaperoned for the first time and the night that many take their first drink.
Leaders Opposed to Underage Drinking (L.O.U.D.), a collaboration of community and educational leaders in Tinley Park, a south suburb of Chicago, are hoping to keep their kids safe this prom and graduation season by educating teens and their parents. L.O.U.D. is the brainchild of Bremen Youth Services, a social services agency that serves young people and families in the Bremen Township area.
“Know the NO” is a campaign aimed at students and parents in the Tinley Park community to reduce the incidence of underage drinking. Saying “no” to alcohol is the norm in these communities. Their hope is to dispel two myths: first, that most teens use alcohol and second, parents often facilitate it because they acquiesce to their teens’ claim that “everyone is doing it.” While the program is directed at the Tinley Park area, their message resonates nationwide.
“Bad things can happen to good kids because of poor choices or inadequate planning from adults,” says Donald J. Sebek, Executive Director of Bremen Youth Services. “A simple internet search for prom night tragedies tells the sad story, one that is easily preventable.”
Every day, nearly 29 people in the United States die in alcohol-impaired vehicle crashes. That’s one person every 50 minutes (2016 statistics), according to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, says the CDC (Center for Disease Control).
“Teen motor vehicle crashes are preventable,” says Sebek. “Our L.O.U.D. program hopes to educate teens and parents on steps to take to avoid prom night (and every day) drinking tragedies.”
The statistics are sobering:
· Having just one or two drinks is bad enough, but the majority of teens are downing substantially more on prom night. According to Liberty Mutual, 54 percent of teens who admitted to drinking during or after the prom said they consumed four or more alcoholic beverages.
· Parents today face some unique challenges when it comes to how they raise their kids, and tackling the alcohol issue is one of them. A survey conducted by PEMCO Insurance found that while 51 percent of adults said parents should forbid their child from going to an after-prom party where alcohol would be present, another 20 percent gave it the thumbs up if the event would be chaperoned.
· Once kids hit the teenage years, they seem to tune out just about everything their parents say, but moms and dads can get through with a little persistence. According to another survey from MADD, teens whose parents view underage drinking as unacceptable are 80 percent less likely to drink compared to their peers whose parents are more lenient about it.
“The L.O.U.D. message for parents is ‘Empower Your Child: Thank You for Not Providing,’” says Sebek.
Among the tips offered to parents are:
“We see the value in being up front with teens about alcohol use, and discussing it openly,” said Sebek. “Most teens will listen to grownups’ warnings about underage drinking, but they also will pay attention to what their peers say. That’s why the “Know the No” program is about getting correct, no-nonsense information into the hands of the students.”
Other tips for Prom night:
L.O.U.D. (Leaders Opposed to Underage Drinking) is dedicated to creating healthy communities and schools that encourage alcohol-free youth by implementing evidence-based strategies to fight the contributing factors of underage drinking. Although the two-part campaign targets parents and youth separately, its goal is to make both groups aware of the fact that underage sobriety is normal. The parent campaign found that 62% of teens from Tinley/Orland Park report their parents’ will not provide them alcohol while the youth campaign found that 7/10 students from Tinley/Orland Park say no to alcohol.
For more information about L.O.U.D. Coalition, call 708-687-9200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Bremen Youth Services
Bremen Youth Services (BYS) is a not-for-profit community mental health agency committed to enhancing the quality of life for individuals and families by providing quality mental health, substance abuse and prevention services. Services are provided by licensed counselors, social workers, and graduate level interns, mental health professionals and certified drug and alcohol counselors. The agency is funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services.
Bremen Youth Services participates in coalitions to network, collaborate, and maximize the services available to the Bremen Township community. Visit www.bremenyouthservices.org for more information on Bremen Youth Services’ services and staff. For questions or personal assistance, please contact Bremen Youth Services at email@example.com or 708-687-9200. The agency’s service hours are Monday-Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on and Saturdays by appointment only.
Press Release | Mon April 02, 2018, 02:16 PM EST