Be safe this holiday season
The leaves have changed color and fallen to the ground, Halloween and Thanksgiving have passed, and soon Christmas and New Year’s will be here. Any place you visit has decorations, lights, and signs of celebration.
This time of year can bring both joy and stress to many of us. During this time of celebration, we also know that alcohol consumption increases. In fact, The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that more people are likely to drink beyond their limits during this season than any other time of the year.
In 2016, Winnebago County youth reported an increase in a 30-day alcohol use. The same data shared that students are reporting that parents are supplying alcohol to them or they are finding it at parties. (Source: Iowa Youth Survey)
December is also National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, a time for us to bring awareness of the issues that comes along with driving impaired with either alcohol or drugs. Other problems also increase during December such as depression, suicide, and domestic violence.
We ask that as this time of year comes around and the holiday’s approach you practice responsible behaviors around your youth. We also encourage you to have a conversation with your youth about using alcohol and drugs and the dangers associated with them. Make a plan in case they get into a sticky situation and need your help. We know that the more we talk to our youth the less likely they are to use alcohol and drugs and partake in risky behaviors. The majority of youth do feel that underage drinking is wrong; in fact, 77 percent say that they are at risk of harm. Please encourage your child to stay with the crowd of not wanting to drink.
For more information or support, please go to www.winnebagocountytaskforce.com or call 641-562-2525.
Wishing you a safe and Happy New Year.
Winnebago County Task Force