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Underage drinking at home is still underage drinking

The article in the March 25th edition of The Wall Street Journal “Sayville couple charged in teen alcohol poisoning” brings to light the harmful practice of social hosting. At The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, we believe parents must prevent their teenage kids from engaging in risky behavior and parents must talk to their kids about the dangers of underage drinking.

The legal drinking age in the United States is 21. Unfortunately, there are parents who are unaware that social hosting and providing alcohol to youth under the age of 21 is also illegal, even if it’s in a protected environment. “Social Hosting,” providing and/or serving alcohol to you a young person who is under 21, can have serious consequences. Not only can it get the hosts in trouble with the law, but it puts kids at great risk.

The example of the 16 year old in Long Island who suffered from alcohol poisoning should drive everyone to re-think social hosting. Providing alcohol to kids under the age of 21 at a party, even if supervised, is irresponsible and it is illegal. At The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, we strive to inform parents and guardians about the dangers and consequences of social hosting. We know that adults are the leading source of alcohol for youth who drink. We also know that parents wield the most influence over a kid’s decision to drink – or not to drink- alcohol. Parents must carry on ongoing conversations with their kids about the dangers of underage drinking. Several of our programs aim to facilitate such conversations.

Parents must set a good example for their kids. Parents must create an environment where underage drinking is not acceptable. These steps are highlighted in the Not in Our House flyer.

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