Did you know that the average first use of alcohol by young people in the United States peaks in June and July? Every day in the month of July, an average 11,600 young people take their first drink. Also, young people report that alcohol is easy to obtain, and new forms of alcohol distribution, like online ordering, present new challenges to underage drinking prevention. That’s why it’s especially important that parents start – or continue – the conversation about underage drinking during the summer months.
Fortunately, the longer days and warmer nights of summer can provide plenty of opportunities for parents to talk with their kids. Summer time means family time. Road trips, barbecues, bike rides, and ballgames give parents and kids more time to connect without the pressures of homework, exams, and the after-school hustle and bustle.
SAMHSA’s “Talk. They Hear You.” app can help parents prepare for one of the most important conversations they may ever have with their children. This free app, available through the App StoreSM, Google Play™, the Windows® Store, and Windows® Phone Store, features an interactive simulation that uses avatars to help parents practice bringing up the topic of alcohol, learn the questions to ask, and get ideas for keeping the conversation going.
The app is part of SAMHSA’s “Talk. They Hear You.” Underage Drinking Prevention National Media Campaign, which encourages parents and caregivers to talk with children early about the dangers of alcohol. Additional resources and information about the campaign and underage drinking prevention is available at http://www.underagedrinking.samhsa.gov.