DCF wants parents help to stop underage drinking

May 25, 2012

Research shows that parents have the most influence on whether teenagers choose to drink alcohol, and the Florida Department of Children and Families is warning parents to monitor their teens to make sure they don’t drink alcohol over the Memorial Day weekend.

Alcohol kills more teenagers every year than any illegal drug, and State Department of Children and Families spokeswoman Erin Gillespie says parents can explain to their kids about the risks associated with underage drinking. But, she says unfortunately, parents are also the most common supplier of alcohol to teenaged drinkers.

“Some parents may think well, I’d rather have them drink at home, than be on the roads, or be out with friends, or let’s have the party here, so I know what’s going on. But, parents need to realize that this increases the chance their teens can drink other places. And, it also increases their culpability. If you provide alcohol to someone underage, you’re responsible for the actions that happen after that, even criminally responsible, in some cases,” said Gillespie.

A 2011 Florida Youth Substance Abuse survey shows a decline in the number of middle and high school students who drink alcohol.