First Selectman Tetreau announced today that he and Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) Connecticut have declared April 21st, 2015 as PowerTalk 21 day. April 21st is the nationally recognized day for parents to talk to their teens about the dangers of underage drinking. Nationwide is the national presenting sponsor, and GM Foundation is the national supporting partner.
The First Selectman met with MADD Connecticut Teen Influencer Group members Eliza Elliot and Zoe Hochberg, and MADD's Connecticut Program Specialist Amber Monck to sign a proclamation declaring April 21, 2015 as PowerTalk 21 day.
First Selectman Tetreau said, “It is so important that groups like MADD are leading the way in the prevention of underage drinking. I applaud MADD, as well as our local high school students and police department, for being proactive in helping our youth and their parents understand the dangerous effects related to alcohol.”
A new MADD/Nationwide Survey shows that about one-third of parents believe the ages in which to start talking with their children about alcohol are 14-18 in high school. Because research shows children start weighing the pros and cons of underage drinking as early as age 8, as 2nd-3rd graders in elementary school1, One in four middle school students have tried alcohol by the 8th grade. MADD urges parents to start talking much earlier and to keep talking as those perceptions about alcohol continue to form and change through age 21.
“We know that parents – not peers – remain the biggest influence on their children when it comes to alcohol,” said Amber Monck, Program Specialist. “Underage drinking prevention is a cornerstone of MADD’s mission, and this new information proves that we need to better equip parents to start having conversations much earlier and more frequently than ever before.”
The addition of MADD’s new middle school handbook to the Power of Parents program equips parents with the tools they need to talk early and talk often with their children about alcohol, a message that evolves as children mature and their perceptions about alcohol change. Visit www.madd.org/powerofparents to download a free copy of both the middle school and high school handbook.
1Brooke S. G. Molina, John E. Donovan and Katherine A. Belendiuk, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, November 2010; Donovan, John E., Molina, Brooke S. G. and Kelly, Thomas M., Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, Vol 23(2), Jun 2009, 248-259.
2National Academies Press, 2003
3NHTSA 2013 FARS Data Query
The photo shows Amber Monck, Program Specialist for MADD, Zoe Hochberg and Eliza Elliot of Fairfield Ludlowe High School and First Selectman Mike Tetreau who is issuing the proclamation in Independence Hall.