Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) is supporting Drinkaware’s parents campaign which highlights the harm from children’salcohol consumption and the role that parents can play in giving their children advice, information and support to prevent underage drinking.
The two organisations are distributing thousands of leaflets to schools throughout the UK, urging parents to talk to their children about alcohol.
According to a report by Drinkaware, around half of 13-17 year olds in the UK have had a drink (53%), with most trying their first drink between the ages of 13 and 15.
Drinkaware’s new study “Teenage drinking and the role of parents and guardians” shows that only 50% of young people who have had a chat with their parents about alcohol found the conversation helpful*. The leaflet provides some simple tips to make these more effective:
- If you choose to drink alcohol, don’t feel hypocritical for doing so when you have told your children they can’t. Instead, explain that alcohol is only for adults because their bodies have finished growing, and even adults have rules about how much they can drink.
- Talk to your kids about how drinks come in different strengths and sizes and let them know what an alcohol unit is and how it’s measured.
- Children notice if their parents have different drinking patterns at special occasions or on holiday. To avoid confusing them, explain that usually you stick to the low risk unit guidelines.
- If you have guests at home, offer a choice of non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks.
- Try to avoid talking about alcohol as a cure for stress e.g. “I’ve had a hard day, I really need a drink”.
- Talk openly to your children about how alcohol makes you feel. Explain the after effects of alcohol the next day and let them know these effects would be worse for them as they’re smaller and their bodies are still developing.
CAP chairman Derek Lewis said: “Drinking alcohol at a young age brings serious risks to children’s health and development and puts them in danger of both physical and social harm. It also impacts on local communities, particularly through alcohol-related anti-social behaviour which can make residents feel unsafe and afraid to go out.”
Drinkaware Chief Executive Elaine Hindal said: “Drinkaware’s new research shines an important light on the importance of having open and honest conversations based on the facts.
“Equipping yourself with up to date information could make all the difference when answering children’s questions about alcohol which is why we are delighted to be partnering with CAP in making these leaflets available across the country.
“Drinkaware also has a dedicated toolkit for parents looking for advice and guidance and is committed to helping people make better choices about alcohol.”
Notes to editors
CAP aims to prevent underage drinking and the harm it causes in local communities by supporting communities to set up local CAPs in areas where there is evidence of an underage drinking problem. CAP schemes are managed and delivered locally through partnerships between local authorities, police, retailers, schools, neighbourhood groups and health providers. CAP believes that empowering communities in this way, with local stakeholders working together to provide tailor-made solutions to underage drinking in their areas, is an extremely powerful and effective way to protect children from alcohol harm and create better and safer neighbourhoods. www.communityalcoholpartnerships.co.uk
Drinkaware is a UK-wide alcohol education charity, offering independent alcohol advice, information and tools to help people make better choices about their drinking www.drinkaware.co.uk
For further information contact Julia Shipston, Communications Manager, Community Alcohol Partnerships: [email protected], tel: 07713163003
Charlotte Mackenbach, Media & Communications Officer at Drinkaware: [email protected] tel: 020 7766 9910
Drinkaware commissioned Ipsos MORI to conduct a survey of young people aged 13-17 in the UK and their parents and guardians, aiming to provide a picture of young people’s drinking behaviour, parents/guardians’ awareness of their children’s drinking, and the effects of parents/guardians’ drinking behaviour and attitudes on those of their children. 1,003 UK adults who have a child aged 13-17 were interviewed, and with the consent of their parents or guardians, 561 young people aged 13-17 also took part. The full report can be seen here: https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/research/our-research-and-evaluation-reports/drinkaware-monitor-2016/