PowerTalk 21 Round Up - Videos, photos and fun!

Today, we recognize PowerTalk 21®, a day dedicated to inspiring intentional, ongoing, and potentially lifesaving conversations between parents and kids about underage drinking and alcohol. And, boy, do we have plenty to talk about!

When it comes to PowerTalk 21®, the results are ones we can’t see. When parents take the time to show and tell their kids about underage drinking, it prevents the number of underage drinking deaths from climbing higher. And one more death is one too many! That point was visually driven home at the national PowerTalk 21® press conference in Dallas.

National President Colleen Sheehey-Church opened up the conference, sharing how the loss of her son drives her to help other parents avoid her grief.

MADD volunteer Steve Mason touched on the importance of talking with your kids about not riding with a drinking driver when he shared the loss of his 20-year-old son, Chris.

Dr. Robert Turrisi, a groundbreaking researcher into teens and drinking, shared his data detailing how parents can effectively combat the pressures teens face to drink with a simple game of SHOW & TELL during an online virtual Town Hall yesterday and at the press conference. If you missed the virtual Town Hall yesterday, listen to it now. Or watch a brief video where he throws down a challenge - put the lifesaving information available in our Power of Parents handbooks into the hands of 10 million parents.

Here are pictures from the Dallas event, as well as other PowerTalk 21® events across the country.



 MADD CEO Debbie Weir and National President Colleen Sheehey-Church at the national PowerTalk 21® press conference in Dallas.  The set-up for the press conference included pictures of two young men killed by drinking drivers, as well as 101 chairs and graduation caps representing the 101 young people in Texas killed in alcohol-related crashes.
 The media gearing up for the press conference, one of several held across the country for PowerTalk 21® Day.  Street teams took the PowerTalk 21® literally on their backs to share it with Dallas parents visting Klyde Warren Park.
 Another street team member shares lifesaving information with a Dallas resident. Dallas Assistant Chief Gary Tittle and other officers met MADD CEO Debbie Weir and National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. Chief Tittle stressed the department's no tolerance policy for udnerage drinking and adults who provide underage drinkers with alcohol.
Former MADD Chairman and Nationwide Insurance Associate Vice President of Consumer Safety Bill Windsor spoke at the Dallas event. PowerTalk 21 is part of the Power of Parents program, sponsored by Nationwide. Chairs and graduation caps representing the 101 Texas young people killed in alcohol-related crashses last year.


 In Arizona, 35 Dunkin Donuts locations shared yummy breakfast treats and lifesaving information.  Check out these delicious MADD cupcakes, part of the Arizona celebration.
 Juno Beach is celebrating PowerTalk 21! The Town Council (Left to Right: Mayor Jason Haselkorn, Council Member Bill Greene, Council Member Ellen Andel, Madd SE FL Program Specialist David Ganim, Vice Mayor Jim Lyons andTown Manager Joe LoBello) recognized PowerTalk 21 with an official proclamation.  Windsor Locks Connecticut, a community that six years ago lost a resident who was a passenger in a single car crash with a drinking driver, declared April 21st officially PowerTalk 21® Day.
 In Florida, MADD joined the LIVE radio podcast Sober Smash, taking calls from people in Wisconsin to Miami.  

PowerTalk 21® may end today, but the conversations between parents and kids must remain ongoing. Learn valuable strategies and tips to create conversations kids will actually hear by downloading the new parents pocket guide today.

When you do, you will automatically be entered to win an Amazon echo, Kindle Fire HD, or one of two $50 gift cards for a date night. You can earn additional entries by taking one of our new interactive quizzes, too!

The winners will be announced via email and social media after April 30th.

#PeriscopingParents, PowerTalk 21®, and new, interactive quiz

Have you taken the PowerTalk 21® "What's Your Parenting Style" interactive quiz?

Watch along as we take the quiz and discuss how to prevent our kids from drinking underage as part of PowerTalk21®, a day dedicated to inspiring ongoing, intentional, and potentially lifesaving conversations between parents and kids about alcohol. PowerTalk® is part of our Power of Parents program, sponsored by Nationwide.

By taking the new, interactive quiz, you are automatically entered to win an Amazon Echo, Kindle Fire HD, or one of two $50 cards.

Want more entries? That's easy.

Earn another by joining us at the April 20th virtual Town Hall to hear from MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church and groundbreaking researcher Dr. Robert Turrisi, who will share insights from his recent examination into why kids and teen choose to ride with a drinking driver. Plus, if you sign up for our 15-minute virtual workshop, download the new Power of Parents pocket guide, or take another quiz, you'll earn an additional entry for each action on top of gaining valuable, lifesaving strategies to help your child make safe decisions regarding alcohol.

Prepare for PowerTalk 21

April is right around the corner and with it PowerTalk 21 – the national day for parents to begin intentional, ongoing, and possibly lifesaving conversations about alcohol with their kids. 

This year, PowerTalk 21 celebrates a significant milestone – the fifth anniversary of the Power of Parents program. That’s five years of stressing the importance of having parent-child conversations regarding alcohol, sharing parenting strategies to help prevent underage drinking, and identifying dangerous teen drinking myths.

This year, we have several new items to reveal. 

First, we are again working with Dr. Robert Turrissi, whose groundbreaking research on teens and alcohol consumptions continues to shatter drinking myths.  Based on his research and a nationwide public opinion survey, we explore why teens make the decision to ride with drinking drivers and, more importantly, how we can help teens make a safer decision. MADD will share his recommendations and the survey results during the week of April 18th. 

Sneak Peek

Here’s a sneak peek – surprisingly, one of the largest indicators of if a teen will ride with a drinking driver depends on the behaviors the teen sees his or her mother or father displaying.  The survey suggests that many parents believe their teen’s friends have the largest influence. Not so!

Additionally, we’ve developed a supplemental guide to our popular Parent Handbook for Talking With Teens About Alcohol, and we’ve translated the Parent Handbook for Talking With Your Middle Schooler About Alcohol. Download any of our parenting handbooks here. 

Look for more about ParentTalk 21 as we move closer to the week of April 18th. Discover more about our Power of Parents program or download a handbook today

Helping Teens Shatter the Myths About Drugs and Drug Abuse

Many teens are not aware of the serious risks drugs and alcohol poses to their health, to their success in school, and to their future. So the question is: What can communities do to effectively educate this generation of teens about drug abuse? 

One way is for school staff, parents, and students to work together on awareness events that will provide teens with the facts about drug use. National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW) is a national health observance designed to arm communities with the materials and tools they need to influence teens to say no to drugs. Inspired by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institute of Health, NDAFW is in its sixth year and will be held from January 25 through 31, 2016.

"This week is designed to counteract the myths teens have about drug abuse, often reinforced by their peers, the Internet, and the entertainment industry," said NIDA Director, Nora D. Volkow, M.D. "When given the facts from people they trust, teens are in a better position to make good decisions about drug use.”

All around the country, science teachers, health teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, drug prevention programs, and community support programs are using the science-based information available FREE from NIDA in their curriculum, school assemblies, PTA meetings, and evening workshops to get the truth out. In some cases, local research scientists and government officials can be invited to participate in these important events.

This year, NDAFW is expecting more than 1,700 events with every state represented. These events range in size and scope, but they are all focused on educating and communicating with teens about drug and alcohol use and its consequences. NIDA staff can provide ideas and information to help make an educational event successful. 

Some event ideas may include:

A school assembly

An addiction-themed art contest

A graffiti fact wall

A trivia night

A panel discussion with local law enforcement, substance abuse counselors, and individuals affected by drug abuse.

A government proclamation.

For additional information, visit the National Drug & Alcohol Facts website or email NIDA.

By: Brian Marquis, Public Liaison Officer, National Institute on Drug Abuse

Working to Prevent Underage Drinking

Recently, several high-profile news articles have brought new attention to underage drinking. In Washington, D.C., a local high school principle sent an email to parents imploring them to not provide alcohol to underage students. Also in Washington, a former high school quarterback was charged with vehicular manslaughter after leaving a house party where a seemingly knowing parent allowed underage drinking to occur. And finally, a ballot initiative was just filed in California to lower the drinking age from 21.

MADD is committed to the health and safety of our young people. We applaud Walt Whitman High School Principal Alan Goodwin for taking a stand and encouraging parents to stop underage drinking. Parents are the biggest influence on their children, and this program will help keep your child safe, and we have proven tools like the Power of Parents that can help. 

MADD takes our mission to prevent underage drinking seriously, and we want to remind parents and teens that the consequences of underage drinking can be devastating. The 21 minimum drinking age is one of the most researched and reviewed public health laws in our country.  Recent studies show that the adolescent brain is continuing to develop until young people reach their mid-twenties. It is important that we continue to support the 21 drinking age to keep our children safe and healthy.  

Underage drinking is an adult problem. In order for those under 21 to obtain alcohol, an adult somewhere must break the law. For parents who provide or permit underage drinking in their home, the episode in Washington is stark reminder of the consequences. Not only was the father given a citation of $5,000, which could have been $60,000, but two young people lost their lives. All of this is 100 percent preventable.  

Some parents still believe that “all kids drink underage” and that “it’s safer under my watchful eye.” After all, Europeans drink at age 18 and their society is flourishing, right?  These three myths couldn’t be further from the truth.  

The truth is, the majority of teens don’t drink.  In fact, less than 30 percent of teens have had a drink in the past month. And only 20 percent of teens binge drink. So, not everyone is doing it!  Research proves it’s never safe to let children drink. 

And when teens feel they have their parents’ approval to drink alcohol, they tend to drink more — and more often — outside the home. What seemed harmless at first often results in tragic consequences that even parents don’t anticipate.

Finally, in Europe, young people have higher intoxication rates than in the United States, and less than a quarter had lower or equivalent rates to the United States. Also, a greater percentage of young people in a majority of Europe report binge drinking at higher rates than their U.S counterparts. Most European youth have higher rates of alcohol-related problems because of their heavy drinking.

MADD continues to speak out about the dangers of underage drinking. We have made too much progress to see effective laws like the 21 drinking age discarded. We encourage you to support the 21 drinking age and talk to your kids about the dangers of underage drinking. Together, we can make a difference and end underage drinking.

Parental influence is the most important factor in helping keep kids safe, and MADD’s Power of Parents® program focuses on educating parents and caregivers about the dangers of underage drinking, and provides them the tools they need to talk with their kids about alcohol. Visit to download our Parent Handbook and get tips and tools to help you have this lifesaving conversation about alcohol with your kids.

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