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Council: 71 Percent of Westchester Teens Report Easy to Access to Alcohol

The Bedford/Lewisboro/Pound Ridge Drug and Alcohol Prevention Council and the Westchester Coalition for a Drug and Alcohol Free Youth have created a print and online campaign to get families talking about teen drinking.

A new postcard, poster and website created by the Westchester Coalition for Drug and Alcohol Free Youth advises families to talk about teen drinking.

In their print and online materials, the message is clear: Parents are the first line of defense in the battle against teen drinking and substance abuse. And talking to your children—and being aware of where they are and who they're spending time with—are among the ways to keep them safe, according to the campaign.

To get the message out, the coalition mailed postcards with the headline, "If It's Not Your Kid, Whose Kid Is It?," to all parents in Westchester County with children in the middle and high schools, according to Patricia Warble, executive director of the Bedford/Lewisboro/Pound Ridge Drug Abuse Prevention Council and the coalition coordinator for Westchester.

"Then we added the Bedford/Lewisboro/Pound Ridge DAPC logo to the postcard and sent it to anyone with a high school student in this area," she said.

In all the postcard was distributed to more than 25,000 homes.

In addition, the Westchester Coalition paid to put the postcard on bus and train kiosks throughout the county.

"Plus, we've worked with web designer Lauren Amsterdam to put together a stunning website with tools for parents and kids to get talking about teen drinking and substance abuse, Warble said. "We really want to get the word out about these resources."

The print campaign and the website, powertotheparent.org, highlights some startling statistics, myths and facts:

  • Every 15 minutes, a teenager dies from underage drinking or other drug use.
  • Over 70 percent of Westchester teens report they have easy access to alcohol.
  • Young girls are drinking more than underage boys.
  • It may be difficult for parents to spot when drinking or other dug use has become a problem.

The resources include a "toolkit" for parents to talk to their teens, including "20 Tips for Keeping Your Teen Safe," and "Empower Your Teen With Refusal Skills."

The purpose of the website—and the campaign—is to raise awareness of and help Westchester parents learn how to keep teens safe from alcohol and drugs, organizers said.

"Teenagers have their whole life ahead of them. Education and career. Friends and family. One wonderful chapter after another.  As parents, there is nothing in our own lives that we will ever do that is as important as making sure our kids have the chance to make that journey," the website reads.

Warble thanked Bedford Schools Superintendent, Dr. Jere Hochman, Dr. Paul Kreutzer, Katonah-Lewisboro schools superintendent, Dr. Edward Escobar, director of pupil personnel services and Carol LaColla, Bedford Central district clerk, for their help and support in launching the local campaign.

For more information, check out www.PowerToTheParent.org and the Power to the Parent Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/PowerToTheParent or email LetsDoThis@PowerToTheParent.org .

Lisa Buchman February 22, 2013 at 01:51 PM
Will these resources help parents talk to their teens about drinking and drugs? Check out the website, let us know what you think.
Leslie Yager February 22, 2013 at 04:54 PM
GREAT website! Since getting a fake ID - "a fake" - is now a class D Felony, it is a big deal to get caught with one these days (vs when many parents were teens themselves). My feeling is some parents buy their teens beer with this in mind. Not that that's a solution...
Lisa Buchman February 22, 2013 at 05:20 PM
I wonder how many teens know it's a felony? It is posted on the website http://powertotheparent.org/toolkit/laws/.
Leslie Yager February 22, 2013 at 05:59 PM
There's a movement among college leaders to return drinking age to 18 from 21. Kids pre-game and binge more. I know we're talking in this thread about high school but it's all intertwined. There's a great book called "Binge" by Barrett Seaman on the topic. His research indicated correlation between high school team sports and college binge drinking... This is a complex, nuanced topic.
joshua tanner February 23, 2013 at 08:37 PM
The Illegals are awash in fake docs. They also bribe DMV workers for real licenses. I've seen cops let drunk illegals be sent walking home after being pulled over drunk. Meanwhile if some Americans 20 yr old 125 girl gets pulled over after having 3 beers after waitressing she is treated like Al Capone and her life practically ruined. I'm not for light drunk driving laws but the uneven enforcement has been scandalous


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