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July: A Dangerous Month for Teens
By MADD | July 21, 2014 | Filed in: Underage Drinking , Power of Parents

Summer vacation for teens should be a time of fun and relaxation, summer camps and first jobs, volunteering and exploring. Unfortunately, for some, unsupervised time leads to alcohol and drug use.

July is the month when more young people start using alcohol and other substances than any other. On average in July, someone under age 18 begins:

  • Drinking alcohol every eight seconds
  • Smoking cigarettes every 17 seconds
  • Using marijuana every 19 seconds
  • Using inhalants every 47 seconds

This doesn’t even count the 18, 19 and 20 year olds who begin drinking during the month.

That’s the bad news; now the good news. If you are a teen, you should know that even though the risks are highest during the summer, most teens don’t drink. Less than 30 percent of teens have had a drink in the past month. A growing number of teens have decided to be an example for others through the Power of You(th) program

Teens, click here to get our free teen booklet to learn how to take a stand against underage drinking.

If you are a parent, now’s the perfect time to start or renew the conversation with your teen about alcohol. You can learn how to have the conversation about alcohol effectively with our free Power of Parents handbook at


Number of Adolescents Younger than 18 Using Alcohol for the First Time on an Average Day, by Month: 2002 to 2010

The 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age Law Turns 30
By MADD | July 17, 2014 | Filed in: Underage Drinking , Power of Parents

On July 17, 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed the 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age law.

Today, on its 30th anniversary, we celebrate this law, which has saved more than 25,000 lives and continues to prevent senseless tragedies.

Click here to read the history of the 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age law.

The Minimum Legal Drinking Age was set at 21 based on decades of research proving that young people react differently to alcohol. Teens get drunk twice as fast as adults, but have more trouble knowing when to stop. Teens naturally overdo it and binge more often than adults. Enforcing the legal drinking age of 21 reduces traffic crashes, protects young people’s maturing brains, and keeps young people safer overall.

Click here to find out more reasons to support 21.

MADD knows that informed, caring parents can make a difference, and we’re here to help. In fact, data from a national MADD/Nationwide Insurance® survey of high school students shows that teens who receive a message from their parents that underage drinking is completely unacceptable are more than 80 percent less likely to drink than teens who receive any other message. Click here to see the interactive infographic.

So today, in honor of the anniversary of the 21 drinking legal drinking age, we encourage all parents and caregivers to talk with your teens about the dangers of underage drinking. Start by visiting the Power of Parents® page on our website to download the free parent handbook and get other tips and expert resources for talking with your kids about alcohol.

MADD has always, and will continue to support the 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age because it saves lives and prevents injuries.

Summer 2014 MADDvocate
By MADD | June 18, 2014 | Filed in: Drugged Driving , Victim Services , Underage Drinking , Drunk Driving

The Summer issue of MADDvocate is now available. Read the latest issue of our online magazine that is helping survivors survive.

Keeping Teen Drivers Safe at the Wheel
By MADD | June 4, 2014 | Filed in: Underage Drinking , Drunk Driving , Power of Parents

Parents often worry about their kids’ safety, and they have good reason to be concerned when their teen gets behind the wheel. Young, inexperienced drivers are the most crash-prone drivers on the road. In fact, traffic crashes are the number one cause of death for American teenagers, and summer is an especially dangerous season for teens behind the wheel.

In 2012, the number of teens killed in traffic crashes increased nearly 20% during June and July.

Young drivers have high fatal crash rates because of limited driving experience and immaturity that can often result in high-risk behavior behind the wheel. So before summer is in full swing, talk with your teens about safe driving. MADD’s Power of Parents program provides parents with some tips on how you can help your teen beat the odds. recommends setting ground rules for teen drivers, such as:

  1. No Alcohol. In 2012, there were 1,875 young drivers (15 to 20 years old) who died in motor vehicle crashes. Twenty-eight percent of them had alcohol in their system, even though they weren’t of legal drinking age.

    Underage drinking is illegal and dangerous – and we’re not just talking about drunk driving (learn more). Have your teens take our Power of You(th) pledge to not drink until 21 and never ride with someone who has been drinking.

  2. No Cell Phones. No matter how experienced you are as a driver, talking on a cell phone while driving reduces your reaction time.

  3. No Extra Passengers. In a study analyzed by NHTSA, teen drivers were two-and-a-half times more likely to engage in one or more potentially risky behaviors when driving with one teenage peer compared to when driving alone.

  4. No Speeding. Speeding is a major factor in teen crash fatalities. In fact, in 2011, it was a factor for 35% of teen drivers in fatal crashes.

  5. Always Buckle up. Nearly 2,800 teens were killed in passenger vehicle crashes in 2010, 60% weren’t wearing a seatbelt.

When it comes to keeping teen drivers safe, parents are the key. So talk with your teens about safe driving habits, and more importantly, be a role model. Always practice safe driving habits like buckling up, avoiding distractions, and never drive after drinking.

MADD Supports Senator Schumer’s Efforts to Protect our Young People
By MADD | May 9, 2014 | Filed in: Underage Drinking , Power of Parents

MADD commends Senator Schumer’s commitment to protecting our young people as he investigates the emerging issue of powdered alcohol, known as “Palcohol.” 

Recently the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved “Palcohol” only to quickly rescind this approval. Makers of Palcohol claim that approval is imminent and that the rescission was due to a technicality. 

MADD is not against alcohol consumption for those over the age of 21. However, MADD urges adults to always plan ahead for a non-drinking designated driver.

This product is the latest in a long list of specialty alcohol fads. We’ve seen vaporized alcohol, whipped cream alcohol, caffeinated alcohol—and the list goes on. While the form of alcohol might change, the issues remain the same.

As with anything “new,” this product may be attractive to youth. MADD opposes marketing alcohol products specifically to those under the age of 21. In the case of Palcohol, we share Senator Schumer’s view that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should carefully review this product as it would seem to have the potential to increase underage drinking. 

Like Senator Schumer, MADD is committed to protecting our nation’s young people. That is why we celebrate April 21 as PowerTalk 21 day, the national day for parents to talk with their kids about alcohol. In addition, we provide free programs like the Power of Parents and offer parents a free handbook in order to equip them with the tools to start what could be a potentially lifesaving conversation.

Together, we can help prevent drunk driving and underage drinking.

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