Unison Behavioral Health Group has launched a prevention campaign designed to increase awareness of alcohol and drug use, misuse and abuse during the 2012 prom and graduation season.
The campaign targets Lucas County teens and their parents.
Statistics show that one third of alcohol-related traffic fatalities involving teens occur during the prom and graduation months of April to June.
“We are especially concerned about the safety of teens now,” says Dr. Larry Hamme, Unison’s chief clinical officer. Dr. Hamme points to results from the 2011 Lucas County Health Assessment Project, which indicate that among seventh- to 12th graders, 27 percent of Lucas County youth approved of their friends and classmates drinking alcohol and 24 percent approved of them using marijuana.
Unison’s prevention campaign launched April 1 with the theme, “Live to Celebrate Another Day.” The objective is to raise awareness and encourage active campaign participation among Lucas County teens, their parents, school officials and others whose influence may impact teen behaviors.
Unison reminds parents that they have clout. When parents talk with their children and set house rules on driving safety and alcohol use, the chance of their teen being hurt drops significantly. Parents may not realize it but research has shown that 65 percent of 10- to 18-year-olds cite parents as the leading influence for their abstinence from alcohol and drug use.
• Have ongoing conversations - When parents talk to teens about the dangers of illegal underage drinking and drug use, it makes a difference.
• Set road rules – Teen drivers are four times more likely than older drivers to crash.
• Stay involved – When parents are part of their teen’s everyday life, less underage drinking and unsafe driving practices occur.
• Talk to other parents – Teens often get alcohol at their friends’ homes. Let other parents know that you have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to underage drinking.
For more information on Unison’s “Live to Celebrate Another Day” campaign, visit www.unisonbhg.org.