"If It’s Not Your Kid Whose Kid Is It?" Westchester Coalition for Drug and Alcohol Free Youth Launches Alcohol Prevention Initiative
A postcard with a graphic showing a group of teens with alcohol in their hands and the question, "If It’s Not Your Kid Whose Kid Is It?" was sent by the Westchester Coalition for Drug and Alcohol Free Youth to parents with children in middle school and high school.
The same graphic is also displayed on bus kiosks, posters and train platforms throughout the county. This initiative was launched as a response to data collected in a 2011 survey that showed that alcohol is the drug of choice for Westchester County teens with 71% of them reporting that it is easy to get alcohol.
To address these concerns, a substance abuse prevention initiative was chosen to empower and encourage parents to make sure that alcohol is not available to teens in their homes and to talk to their children about the dangers of teen drinking. Many parents incorrectly think that once their children reach adolescence, they do not have influence over their children’s decisions.
However, research done by The Partnership at drugfree.org shows that parent’s disapproval of the use of alcohol by young people has a major impact on teens deciding not to drink. The postcard includes a recommendation for a website to help parents talk to their children about the dangers of drinking in an effective way (www.theantidrug.com ).
In addition, there is information about an ongoing project of the Westchester Coalition that will keep parents updated about research, information and positive strategies related to this issue. To access this, parents need to sign up to receive a monthly message on their cell phone from the Westchester Coalition for Drug and Alcohol Free Youth by texting Parents to 88500.
The campaign was adapted from one done by the Danver’s Cares coalition in Danvers, Massachusetts and is being funded by two federal grants that were awarded to the Westchester Coalition for Drug and Alcohol Free Youth. This initiative is being done in cooperation with County Executive, Robert P. Astorino, who has a prevention message on the postcard, and the Westchester County Office of Drug Prevention and STOP DWI. The coalition is co-chaired by the Westchester District Attorney’s office. For additional information about this campaign, contact: PWarble@sascorp.org.