Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) launched the 12th Annual PowerTalk21® campaign at the beginning of April to remind parents that they have the power to protect their teens from the risks and consequences of underage drinking and other drug use.
Timed to coincide with planning for prom and graduation activities, this year’s theme, “Lifesaving Conversations Start With You!” highlights the critical role parents have in influencing their teens to not consume alcohol before age 21 and to never get into a car with a driver who is impaired.
A recent survey found that parents may be devaluing their role in preventing underage drinking. Of the teens surveyed, 3 in 5 credit a parent with being most important in their decision-making. Parents by contrast put themselves as second, after their teens’ friends, as most impactful.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), underage drinking is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths each year and can lead to early addiction and many other dangerous outcomes.
Parents can download free Power of Parents handbooks for parents of middle and high school students at www.madd.org/powerofparents.