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April 14, 2021
LANSING – Just in time for Alcohol Responsibility Month, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel partnered with Responsibility.org, to share a public service announcement which encourages parents and caregivers to talk to their kids to prevent underage drinking. The PSA comes during the COVID-19 pandemic—a time when discussing the dangers of underage drinking may have taken a backseat in many households.
In the PSA, Nessel emphasizes that these conversations are an important step in keeping underage drinking levels down. In fact, 74 percent of 8th graders report they have never consumed alcohol, a statistic that has decreased 63 percent proportionally since 1991.
"Not only is underage drinking dangerous and harmful to kids' developing brains and bodies, but it's illegal," Nessel said. "Parents have the greatest impact on whether or not their kids choose to drink alcohol. I encourage parents to have conversations early and often about the risks of underage drinking."
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The importance of encouraging kids to say "yes" to a healthy lifestyle is also emphasized in the PSA.
"April is Alcohol Responsibility Month, and as we continue our mission to eliminate underage drinking, we want to remind parents how important conversations with their kids are. Our underage drinking prevention program, Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don't Mix, blends brain science and refusal strategies to help keep kids safe and substance-free," said Chris Swonger, President and CEO of Responsibility.org. "From 2003 to 2016, conversations between kids and their parents have increased 73 percent, while underage drinking has decreased 50 percent. We have come so far together, but our work is not yet done. We want to continue to keep these statistics moving in the right direction."
The PSA can be viewed online.
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About Ask, Listen, Learn
Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don't Mix is the most widely-distributed underage drinking prevention program of its kind. Developed and distributed by Responsibility.org, and recognizing more than 15 years of success, the program has innovative, science and evidence-based digital resources for teachers, counselors, school nurses and other educators. The program also includes resources for parents, such as conversation starters and tips, to help kids say YES to a healthy lifestyle and NO to underage drinking. In September 2020, new materials were added to the suite of resources to address underage cannabis use and its effects on the developing brain. Program content regarding the effects of alcohol on the developing brain was reviewed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and is consistent with currently available science. For more information, visit AskListenLearn.org.
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