New website helps parents understand dangers of teen drinking

Over 40% of teen drinkers age 15-17 get their alcohol directly from a parent, or parent's house
Over 40% of teen drinkers age 15-17 get their alcohol directly from a parent, or parent's house

This weekend Children’s Hospital Boston’s Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research (CeASAR) launched, a website designed to offer parents both medical and practical information about the dangers of teen drinking and drug use, and offers tips on how to prevent drinking and substance abuse among their own teenage children.

Hosted by John Knight, MD, and Sion Harris, PhD, CPH, the program has already been adopted by the Milton public school system, which is making the website required homework… for parents.

Adults who have children graduating this year will be encouraged to visit the site, learn about the many risk factors associated with teenage drinking and substance abuse, then complete a short quiz that tests their knowledge of this very real and dangerous problem. When finished with the test parents receive a certificate of completion, which they are asked to send into school with their child as part of his or her “check-out” process for graduation.

“Parents are the best and first line of defense in protecting their children from the dangers of alcohol and drugs,” says Knight. “Graduation and prom are times for celebration and a critical time for parents to be vigilant about their child’s safety. We’re grateful for the leadership and vision of the Milton High School administrators for helping us with this pilot program, which we hope will become the standard practice of schools across Massachusetts.”

ceasar2Even if you’re not the parent of a graduating teen, offers practical data on underage drinking and drug abuse for all parents, year round. While prom/graduation season may often generate extra media attention on underage alcohol consumption, the dangers and consequences associated with these behaviors are not restricted to a specific age or time of year.