Dial Help works to prevent underage drinking

HOUGHTON — Preventing underage drinking often starts with simply talking to kids about it.

Research shows that parents are the number one reason young people decide not to drink alcohol. So, even though talking about underage drinking can be intimidating…there are many good reasons to do it.

Dial Help Prevention Coordinator Kevin Weir said, “Ten percent of 12-year-olds report that they have tried alcohol, and by the time they’re 15, that number goes up to 50 percent. Research also shows that about 80 percent of kids between the ages of 10 and 18 report that their parents should have a say in their alcohol choices.”

“Talk: They Hear You” is a town hall style event put on by Dial Help and other local agencies for parents and caregivers of school age children and younger.

It’s based on a national campaign that encourages parents to talk to their kids about underage drinking.

Weir said, “We’re also going to be talking about adolescent brain development. We will have a pediatrician there to kind of give us a little bit of an overview of what’s going on in there when we’re teenagers and how that can influence alcohol choices.”

The event takes place at the Portage Lake District Library on July 26th. There is no cost to attend but space is limited so they recommend registering in advance.