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Parents Who Host Lose the Most
County Alliance Coordinator Presents "Parents Who Host" Program in Ogdensburg
"The Municipal Alliance Committees (MAC) are the heart of each community's prevention efforts. The committees bring together representatives from local governmental bodies, the educational system, the health care community, law enforcement, business, labor, religious leaders, civic associations, social entities and the community at large. The MAC's determine the kind and scope of prevention initiatives that are best suited for their communities. GCADA evaluates and approves County Alliance Plans in conjunction with the Division of Addiction Services, makes recommendations in regard to the awarding of grants, and distributes the grants to the County Alliances. The County Alliances in turn support and provide for the inclusive network of grass roots volunteers who embody the 528 Municipal Alliances. " (Mission Statement of the Governor's Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse)
The Ogdensburg Municipal Alliance hosts a series of programs for their community as part of their mission to combat substance abuse through the GCADA grant. One of these programs is called the "Teen Canteen." This program is coordinated by teacher Jeanette Spooner and is aimed at giving the Borough's teens a safe place to go on a Friday night to hang out, play some games, and be given some information about staying away from drugs and alcohol.
On the evening of Friday, April 10, 2015, Sussex County Alliance Coordinator Nick Loizzi presented a program to the parents of the above mentioned teens, to raise their awareness of the negative consequences of underage drinking. The program, "Parents Who Host Lose the Most, Don't Be a Party to Teenage Drinking," included a presentation by Loizzi and Borough Prosecutor Jonathan McMeen. Loizzi spoke about the physiological dangers of underage drinking and the potential legal and financial consequences of allowing underage drinking in the home. Mr. McMeen reported some of his own experiences in Court prosecuting cases, which involved teenage drinking. Ogdensburg Police Officer Joe Sanfilippo was also present and answered questions regarding law enforcement's role in preventing and enforcing laws against underage drinking.
What are some of the health and safety issues?
The fact is underage drinking is hazardous to the health and safety of those under the age of 21 years old.
#1.If your child drinks alcohol, it is likely that the alcohol will affect his/her brain development.
- The human brain continues to develop into the mid-twenties.
- If alcohol is heavily consumed in adolescence, the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory can shrink by about ten percent.
- When it comes to behavior and brain function, while alcohol has as sedative effect on adults, it acts as a stimulant to adolescents. The more alcohol consumed, the more likely youth are to engage in risky behaviors. Furthermore, due to this stimulant effect, youth are more likely to drink past the point where adults would end up passing out.
#2.If your child drinks alcohol, you will more likely have to deal with those issues parents dread.
- Kids who drink are more likely to become sexually active (putting them at greater risk of HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases).
- Teen girls who binge drink are 63% more likely to get pregnant in their teen years.
- Students who use alcohol are five times more likely to drop out of school or to believe that earning good grades is not important.
#3.If your child drinks alcohol, he/she is at a greater risk of becoming addicted later in life.
- 40% of children who start drinking before the age of 15 will become alcoholics at some point in their lives.
- If the onset of drinking is delayed by five years, a child's risk of serious alcohol problems is cut in half.
What parents should know about the legal issues related to permitting underage drinking:
- As a parent, you cannot give alcohol to your teen's friends under the age of 21 under any circumstance, even in your own home, even with their parent's permission.
- You cannot knowingly allow a person under 21, other than your child, to remain in your home or on your property while consuming or possessing alcohol.
If you break the law:
- You can face a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
- Others can sue you if you allow anyone under 21 to consume alcohol and they, in turn, hurt someone or damage property and homeowner's insurance will not cover you for any damages.
- Officers can confiscate any alcohol, money or property used in committing the offense.
This program is available to any school, group, or organization and is provided free through the Municipal Alliance Grant and the Governor's Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (GCADA). For more information about the Municipal Alliance, this program or other programs that raise awareness about the negative consequences of underage drinking, contact Nick Loizzi, County Alliance Coordinator at (973) 940-5200 ext. 1383 or firstname.lastname@example.org