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Top Seven Things We can All Can Do to Keep the South Bronx moving forward

1. Build Community Support - Getting our story out through various media venues and sharing information at local meetings helps to empower community members with the necessary knowledge and information to impact change.

2. Support Businesses that comply with the ABC (Alcohol Beverage Control) Laws: Businesses that attend the Alcohol Training Awareness Program and comply with the New York State Liquor Authority laws "of not selling or serving alcohol to minors or to intoxicated persons" deserve the support of the community.

3. Inform Parents: To talk to their children about the dangers of underage drinking. Share the campaign: Talk, They Hear You. (https://www.samhsa.gov/underage-drinking) Parents You Matter! Do not supply youth with alcohol.

4. Keep Our Youth Safe: Alcohol is the #1 drug of choice among youth. When teens drink, alcohol affects their brains in the short-term– but repeated drinking can also impact it down the road, especially as their brains grow and develop.

5.Keep the South Bronx Safe: Underage Drinking Causes many deaths, (based on data from 2006–2010, the CDC), an estimation is that alcohol is a factor in the deaths of 4,358 young people under age 21 each year. This includes, homicides, falls, burns, alcohol poisoning and suicide. In addition, underage alcohol use increases risk of physical and sexual violence and lowers academic performance and increase poor decision making.

6.Build Healthy Partnerships with Community Policing: The Bronx is aware that there is an epidemic in heroin and opioid overdose, especially in the Hunts Point and Longwood areas. The theory that consuming softer drugs, including alcohol, can lead to using stronger substances has existed for decades. Countless studies suggest that this transition is real. (NIDA) We want alcohol and marijuana out of the hands of our youth.

7. Support laws and strategies that protect youth: The Bronx is surrounded by many neighboring communities that have a social host liability law: adults can be held responsible if underage people are served, regardless of who furnishes the alcohol, in their homes. "Let's encourage our council members to join in and support this health-based strategy, by passing a NYC Social Host Law.

 

Remaining clear and consistent, and avoiding messages that glorify or promote alcohol use is a good way to provide your children with the role modeling that they need to keep them from underage use.

Making the Talk Count at Every Age

As with all things with kids, one size does not fit all, this is especially true when talking with them about alcohol, your concerns and expeditions. What you say to a 9-year-old about alcohol is different from what you say to a 15-year-old.

A clear no-use message is the most effective way for parents to help keep their kids safe from the many dangers associated with underage alcohol use.

REMEMBER Children also can't learn all they need to know from a single discussion- lots of little talks are more effective than one "big talk." Here are some tips to help!

Preschool

It may seem premature to talk about alcohol but by preschool, most children have seen adults drinking alcohol, either in real life, on TV, or online. The attitudes they form at this age have an important impact on the decisions they will make when they are older. At this early age, they are eager to know and memorize rules, and they want your opinion on what's "bad" and what's "good."

Ages 5 to 8

Children this age have an increasing interest in the world outside the family and home. Now is the best time to begin to explain what alcohol is, that some people drink it even though it can be harmful, and the consequences of them drinking it.

If you and your child see someone who is drunk on TV or on the street, explain that getting drunk is never good and could be dangerous.

Ages 10 to 12

During the tween and preteen years, kids will assert their independence and question authority, but they need your input and advice more than ever. In fact, when it comes to discussing alcohol and drugs, this is one of the most important times in their life.
Tweens understand the reason for rules and appreciate having limits in place- be sure they know your rules about alcohol use and the consequences if they break these rules.

Talk out some real-life situations and brainstorm solutions for what they can say. For instance: "My mom (or dad) would kill me if I drank alcohol”. Be sure your tween knows that they should not continue friendships with kids who have offered them alcohol or other drugs.

Base alcohol-related messages on facts -- not fear. Tweens love to learn facts about all kinds of things. You can take advantage of their passion for learning to reinforce your message about alcohol and drugs.

REMEMBER this is a tough time for your tweens-puberty can erode your child's self-confidence and cause them to feel insecure, doubtful, and vulnerable to peer pressure. During these years, give your tween lots of positive reinforcement and praise them for their efforts and successes.

Ages 13 to 18

Your teen will most likely know other kids who use alcohol or drugs. Most teens are still willing to express their thoughts or concerns with parents about it. Use these conversations not only to understand your teen’s thoughts and feelings, but also to talk about the dangers of alcohol such as violence, sex and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Talk about the legal issues and the possibility that they or someone else might be killed or seriously injured.

Abstinence is important and underage drinking should not be considered a “rite of passage” or something “they’re going to do anyway”

Teenagers tend to be idealistic and want to help make the world a better place. Tell your teens that underage drinking is not a victimless crime, and the effect it has on our society.

Make it clear that drinking is not permitted under any circumstances and let your teen know that you trust them not to drink alcohol.

Help your child build self-reliance by asking them how they plan to deal with situations such as being offered alcohol or being invited to ride in a car with a driver who has been drinking.

Wait for your teen to return from being out with friends so you can chat about what happened. Strive to convey love and concern not mistrust.

The first time you have evidence that your teen has been drinking, confront them. Don’t minimize it.

Ages 18 and older

College-age students will encounter drinking on- and off campus. Find out about a college’s record of drinking-related incidents and its alcohol policy before your child enrolls. Talk about your findings with your child.

Remind your child about the dangers of binge drinking and alcohol poisoning.

As always, stay connected with your child to learn how best to help him or her.

© 2017 Forward South Bronx Coalition | c/o SFI
871-B Westchester Avenue, Bronx, NY 10459