Keeping teens safe at prom time

To the Editor:

From proms to graduations, teens have plenty of reasons to celebrate this time of year. But no matter what the reason for celebrating, help keep the occasion safe for everyone by making sure alcohol isn’t part of your teen’s party plans.

Parents play an important role in helping teens make smart decisions when it comes to alcohol. According to the 2012 GfK Roper Youth Report, the majority of youth — 73% of 13- to 17-year-olds — say parents are the No. 1 influence on decisions about whether they drink alcohol or not.

At Dichello Distributors, Inc., we’re parents, too, and we share the same concerns as every other parent about these issues. That’s why we encourage parents to download a free copy of the Family Talk About Drinking parent guide at The Family Talk About Drinking program aims to prevent underage drinking by encouraging parents to start meaningful, ongoing conversations about alcohol with their children. The program, which is applicable to parents with children of any age, is housed within a Facebook community where our certified parent coach, M.J. Corcoran, serves as an additional parent resource.

In addition to our Family Talk About Drinking program, Anheuser-Busch and Dichello Distributors, Inc. remind adults that supplying alcohol at teen parties is never a good idea. To help prevent alcohol sales to minors, we also provide retailers with ID-checking materials and training to help them serve and sell alcohol responsibly.

Thanks to law enforcement and these kinds of community-based programs, we’re making progress in reducing underage drinking. According to the 2011 Monitoring the Future Study, the 8th grade past-month drinking rate is at a record-low level, declining 49% since tracking began in 1991, and high school senior drinking is down 41% since 1975.

We can all do our part this prom and graduation season. These are our families and our kids and it’s our responsibility to help keep them safe.

Tony Lota

Alcohol Awareness Coordinator

Dichello Distributors, Inc.