faith

Faith

Underage and youth binge drinking harm youth, families, and the community. The faith community can provide trusted guidance to help cut through the chaos, confusion and mixed messages about alcohol in our society. Communities of faith focus on caring and serving others and can help lead the call for needed change on alcohol in our community!

Making the Case: Faith

Why Partner To Reduce Underage And Youth Binge Drinking?

  • Alcohol is the #1 drug of choice among children and adolescents; they use alcohol 10 times more than all illegal drugs, combined. Cobb County students binge drink at a friend’s house on the weekend more than other students in the state.
  • Too many consider underage and youth binge drinking a rite of passage to adulthood. Significant research has identified this adult belief as a factor contributing to this behavior, along with the belief that there is nothing adults can do to change youth drinking behavior.
  • Parents dramatically underestimate teenage binge drinking. 33 percent of teens binged in the past month and 3 percent of parents believed their own teen binged in the past month. Parents need help to break through denial and be empowered to act for change.
  • Alcohol harms and kills more youth than all illegal drugs, combined. For American youth under age 21; alcohol contributes to the top three causes of preventable death (murder, suicide, car crashes) and to preventable injuries from burns, drowning, assaults, STDs, and addiction.
  • Youth with strong religious beliefs are less likely to use alcohol as well as marijuana and tobacco, according to the National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Read the full Case Statement for Faith Leaders.

Underage Drinking in Georgia
The Facts

Tragic health, social, and economic problems result from the use of alcohol by youth. Underage drinking is a causal factor in a host of serious problems, including homicide, suicide, traumatic injury, drowning, burns, violent and property crime, high risk sex, fetal alcohol syndrome, alcohol poisoning, and need for treatment for alcohol abuse and dependence.

Learn more about the cost of Underage Drinking in Georgia.

Why should faith communities care about this problem?
  • Because you care about strengthening families, and families are challenged by this problem.
  • Too many people consider underage and youth binge drinking a rite of passage to adulthood. Significant research has identified this adult belief as a factor contributing to this behavior, along with the belief that there is nothing adults can do to change youth drinking behavior. [U.S. Surgeon General’s Report]
  • Parents dramatically underestimate teenage binge drinking. 33 percent of teens binged in the past month and 3 percent of parents believed their own teen binged in the past month. Parents need help to break through denial and be empowered to act for change.[Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]
How can faith institutions help reduce underage and youth binge drinking?
  • The faith community can provide trusted guidance to help families cut through the chaos, confusion and mixed messages about alcohol in our society.
  • Work to change community attitudes about underage and youth binge drinking.
  • Help get the word out about underage drinking laws.
  • Help get the word out about social host laws and legal consequences for adults.
  • Support parents and caregivers in their roles as mentors and monitors.
  • Create friendly alcohol-free places and programs where youth can gather, volunteer and succeed without alcohol.
  • Make it easier for young people who are involved in high risk drinking or at risk for alcohol dependence to get help.
How can pastors and faith leaders do a better job in providing guidance to families faced with the problem of alcohol addiction?
  • Know your limits, seek specialized training, understand the scope of the problem, partner with the larger community for resources and referrals.
  • Facilitate small discussion groups and bring in experts to share experiences, strength and hope.
  • Consider supporting Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-anon Groups, many of these 12-step groups look for meeting space in local community faith institutions.
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Faith Leaders CAN

  • Work to change community attitudes about underage and youth binge drinking
  • Help get the word out about underage drinking laws
  • Help get the word out about social host laws and legal consequences for adults
  • Support parents and caregivers in their roles as mentors and monitors
  • Create friendly alcohol-free places and programs where youth can gather, volunteer and succeed without alcohol
  • Make it easier for young people who are involved in high risk drinking or at risk for alcohol dependence to get help
  • Become a partner with Cobb Alcohol Taskforce
  • Join the Cobb Alcohol Taskforce as a volunteer or friend and subscribe to monthly e-news
  • Promote Cobb Safe Neighborhoods Safe Homes Campaign

Resources

  • Faith and Recovery: The Healing Role of Faith-Based Organizations (DVD) – This Road to Recovery Webcast explores the role of faith and faith-based organizations in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. Sections discuss pastoral counseling, interventions, and other recovery services offered by faith-based organizations as well as the need for pastoral training. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services; June 2006)
  • Stop Underage Drinking with help from the faith community
  • www.aa.org – Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of people that help each other solve their common problems and help others to recover from alcoholism.
  • www.al-anon.alateen.org– Al-anon offers strength and hope for friends and families of problem drinkers.
  • www.alcoholcostcalculator.org– Alcohol Cost Calculator provides an easy-to-use tool and is designed to help teachers, parents, lawmakers and child advocates calculate the toll serious alcohol problems are taking on their community.
  • www.cadca.org – CADCA’s mission is to build and strengthen the capacity of community coalitions to create safe, healthy and drug-free communities. Useful tools, resources, publications and training institutes.
  • www.camy.org – Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth will help you learn more about industry marketing practices. Research, fact sheets and take-action ideas.
  • www.drugfree.org/join-together – The Partnership for a Drug-free America and Join Together, unites parents, renowned scientists and communication professionals to help families raise healthy children. Tools to help parents talk to their kids about drugs and alcohol, and lots of useful research and resources. E-newletter and action center.
  • www.faceproject.org – FACE is a national non-profit organization that supports sensible alcohol policies and practices through the development of messages, strategies and training designed to create public awareness and action on alcohol issues.
  • www.madd.org – Mothers Against Drunk Driving has programs for schools, “under 21” page, statistics, resources and information on underage drinking prevention as well as drunk driving prevention, including a page about social host policies.
  • www.ncadd.org – Nation Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence  provides information, publications, and is the sponsor of the Annual National Alcohol Awareness Month each April.
  • www.parentsempowered.org – Developed by the Utah legislature, find information about the harmful effects of alcohol on the developing teen brain, along with proven skills for preventing underage alcohol use.
  • www.samhsa.gov – Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration is a clearinghouse of lots of information. National Household Survey on Drug Abuse found here. Can access alcohol specific links and Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) model programs.
  • www.stopalcoholabuse.gov – A comprehensive portal of Federal resources for information on underage drinking and ideas for combating this issue.
  • www.thepowerofparents.org – The power of parents, it’s your influence – MADD has created a powerful new website just for parents. Video’s, ask the experts blog, research, tips for talking to your kids, etc.
  • www.timetotalk.org – From the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, time to talk provides easy-to-use guides and tips to help you have ongoing conversations with your kids to keep them healthy and drug-free.
  • www.toosmarttostart.samhsa.gov – Provides useful programs and strategies, downloadable materials, interactive games and exercises, and other resources for youth, families and educators.
  • www.underagedrinking.samhsa.gov – Real talk starts here. Provides the facts, tools, conversation starters, and advice parents need to start talking early and often to their children about alcohol. Parents can create a personalized action plan