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9/24/2015 - Hamilton and HAASA Aim to Curb Underage Drinking through ‘Parents Who Host, Lose the Most’ Campaign

 

Hamilton and HAASA Aim to Curb Underage Drinking through ‘Parents Who Host, Lose the Most’ Campaign 

Hamilton Township and HAASA (the Hamilton Alliance Against Substance Abuse -- a  Township commission and its official coordinating body for the planning, awareness and education of substance abuse prevention efforts on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs) is kicking off its participation in the ‘Parents Who Host, Lose the Most’ campaign. 

It is estimated that each day, approximately 8,000 youth across the nation will take their first drink of alcohol. Alcohol is the leading drug problem among young people. Underage drinking is strongly linked to delinquent behaviors, including stealing, problems at home and at school, and increased sexual behavior, including unwanted, unintended and unprotected sexual activity, sex with multiple partners and teenage pregnancy. 

Additionally, underage drinking is strongly linked to illicit drug use.  The website alcoholrehab.com sites data from the 2009 National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) data indicating “69.9% of heavy alcohol users among those aged 12 to 17 were illicit drug users. This was over 13 times higher than non-alcohol users where 5.2% used illegal substances.” ( http://alcoholrehab.com/drug-addiction/connection-between-alcohol-and-drugs/ )

The campaign, which partners with Drug Free Action Alliance, looks to raise public awareness by educating communities and parents about the health and safety risks of serving alcohol at teen parties. The program provides parents with tools to educate their peers about the legal, health and safety issues associated with allowing anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol at parent-hosted parties.

During Hamilton’s annual Fall Harvest Festival, HAASA will work to bring awareness to the campaign by asking parents to sign a pledge against hosting parties that serve alcohol to minors.

HAASA will provide other materials to help raise awareness of the campaign, which will include:

  • ·         ‘Parents Who Host, Lose the Most’ campaign yard signs
  • ·         ‘Parents Who Host, Lose the Most’ campaign stickers
  • ·         Special goodie bags for younger children that attend the Fall Harvest Festival
  • ·    and other informational materials for underage drinking and illicit drug use prevention  

“By educating parents and our community as a whole on how we can work together to deter underage drinking, we are taking a positive step in keeping our children safe by promoting healthy lifestyles,” says Hamilton Township Mayor Kelly Yaede. 

The ‘Parents Who Host, Lose The Most’ campaign is a proven success and provides an important message that it is illegal, unsafe and unhealthy for anyone under the age of 21 to drink alcohol,” says Deborah Minnick, Coordinator of HAASA. 

To that end, in preparation for Red Ribbon Week (October 23-31) – which seeks to take a visible stand against drugs – HAASA will also be distributing red ribbons in Hamilton’s middle schools to help raise awareness in the fight against both underage drinking and illicit drug use.   

Residents can find our more information about the Parents Who Host, Lose The Most: Don’t be a party to teenage drinking campaign through the website: www.DrugFreeActionAlliance.org

Additionally, residents can learn more about all of Hamilton Township and HAASA’s efforts by visiting: www.HamiltonNJ.com/HAASA