Taking Away the Keys Doesn’t Take Away the Risks


Most people know about the dangers of underage drinking and driving, but what you may not know is that the dangers of underage drinking are even greater off the roadways.  This means that parents, who talk with their kids about drunk driving, but not about waiting until 21 to drink at all, are missing an important step in keeping their kids safe.

We just released a new analysis of data that estimates over two-thirds of all deaths associated with underage drinking are not on the roadways—they're things like homicides, suicides, alcohol poisonings, falls, drownings, burns and other causes of deaths.

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That doesn’t include other impacts of underage drinking, like unplanned or unsafe sex, injuries, declining school performance, and greater chances of having problems with alcohol later in life. We need to understand the full scope of the impact underage drinking can have and why it’s so important that parents have the ongoing discussion with their kids about underage drinking.

Parental influence is the most important factor in helping keep teens safe—that’s why MADD launched the Power of Parents program, sponsored by Nationwide Insurance. The goal of Power of Parents is to educate parents and caregivers about the dangers of underage drinking, and give them the tools they need to talk with their kids about alcohol.  In addition, we’ve designated April 21st as PowerTalk 21 day—the national day for parents to talk with their kids about alcohol.  In preparation for PowerTalk21, download the parent handbook for tips and tools to help you start this lifesaving conversation.  You can find additional resources at madd.org/powertalk21.

Start talking on April 21st, and together, we can help prevent underage drinking and save lives!

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