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Parents Encouraged to Set an Example for Their Teens and Help Stop Underage Drinking

Health Alliance on Alcohol Provides Parents Resources to Help Manage Teen

Access to Alcohol in the Home

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Oct. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Health Alliance on Alcohol today challenged New York area parents to take a tough topic head-on - the issue of underage drinking. The challenge was issued during a roundtable discussion featuring a panel of experts from the fields of adolescent medicine and education and thought leaders in the entertainment industry.

The discussion, held in coordination with The Creative Coalition, was timed to coincide with the introduction of Facts & Conversations: Parents & Underage Access to Alcohol, the sixth book in a nine-part series encouraging communications between parents and teens about alcohol consumption and smart decision-making.

Media personality Catherine Crier moderated the event, which addressed topics such as why providing alcohol to teenagers is a problem; the roles of schools, corporations and the government in curbing underage drinking; and the new approaches on dealing with some of the larger issues associated with "social hosting."

"The decision to launch this initiative just prior to National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week was deliberate on our part," said Daniel Hyman, board member, Health Alliance on Alcohol and chief medical and chief children's quality officer, Ambulatory Care Network, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. "Teens in college and high school are facing a number of peer pressures, including parties and consumption of alcohol. This latest publication helps parents take an active role in their children's education beyond the classroom."

Identifying the Threats and Parents' Roles

Underage drinking is a serious, and often critical, problem in communities across the country. According to the 2007 Roper Report, parents play a crucial role in shaping their children's perception on alcohol, beginning with access to it before reaching the legal drinking age.

When parents initiate the sometimes difficult conversation about alcohol and underage drinking with their children, a positive impact can be delivered. The Journal of Adolescent Health reported in its July 2005 issue that teens are less likely to get into trouble when they know that their parents expect that they will not drink alcohol or use drugs.

Commitment to Empowering Parents

Parents and Underage Access to Alcohol is the sixth book in the nine-part Facts & Conversations series. Each book offers tips on how parents can help their children address the different pressures and different stages in an adolescent's life where they may be exposed to alcohol.

Several studies highlighted in the book found that adults are the major providers of alcohol for underage drinkers. Parents often engage in social hosting - providing alcohol to a person or persons under 21 - because they believe it will deter underage drunk driving, keeping their children 'safe'. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Social hosting laws have been passed in 23 states and may be misleading to adolescents, teaching them from an early age that they are above the law.

"Teenagers have a predisposition to think of themselves as untouchable," says Marina Catallozzi, associate professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Population and Family Health, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. "Parents, who provide or condone the consumption of alcohol, reinforce these thoughts and put kids at an increased level of risk."

Studies have shown individuals who begin drinking earlier in life are more susceptible to alcohol related problems, including alcohol dependency. "In the long term, drinking that begins early in life can impact life choices and self esteem," according to Catallozzi.

Resources Available to Help Parents to Have the Difficult Conversations

Other titles in the Facts & Conversations series include:

-- Talking to Teens: Underage Drinking, which focuses on the effects of

alcohol on the body and offers parents an introduction to the facts

and statistics around this issue.

-- Talking to Teens: Peer Pressure, which explores how peer pressure can

affect teens when making decisions about alcohol.

-- Talking to Teens: Prom, Graduation and Alcohol, including insights on

the period of time when teens are dealing with peer pressure and

considering risky behavior.

-- College & Alcohol, a book that encourages parents to have productive

and realistic conversations with their children about underage

drinking and its consequences.

-- Teen Driving & Alcohol, which provides parents with conversation

starters and information about the dangers associated with being a new

driver and how to instill responsible behavior.

The HAA is actively working to inform parents about the issues and dangers associated with underage drinking. Parents, community leaders and concerned adults who are interested in more information about these important conversations can view, download or order free of charge any one of the six books in the Facts & Conversations series at

Health Alliance on Alcohol

The Health Alliance on Alcohol is a national education initiative on underage consumption of alcohol through parent/child communications that includes partner members Heineken USA; the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System, the largest secular not-for-profit non-governmental healthcare system in the U.S.; and White Plains Hospital Center, a voluntary, not-for-profit health care organization with the primary mission of offering high-quality, acute health care and preventative medical care to people who live in, work in or visit Westchester County and its surrounding areas. Please visit

The NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System

The NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System, the largest secular not-for-profit nongovernmental health care system in the U.S., is committed to providing high quality, cost-effective, and accessible care to communities throughout the greater New York Metropolitan region. The System, made up of 38 acute care hospitals, 100 ambulatory sites, 16 residential health care facilities, three specialty institutions, and more than 15,000 affiliated physicians, serves one in four patients in the greater New York Metropolitan area. The System is also the largest not-for-profit employer in New York City. System members are affiliates of the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University or Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. During 2003, System institutions discharged more than 560,000 inpatient cases and saw more than 5,700,000 cases on an outpatient basis. For additional information, visit

White Plains Hospital Center

White Plains Hospital Center (WPHC) is a 292-bed voluntary, not-for-profit health care organization with the primary mission of offering high quality, acute health care and preventive medical care to all people who live in, work in or visit Westchester County and its surrounding areas. Centers of Excellence include the Dickstein Cancer Treatment Center, The William & Sylvia Silberstein Neonatal & Maternity Center, The Ruth and Jerome A. Siegel Stroke Center and The Westchester Orthopedic Institute. The Hospital has the busiest Emergency Department in Westchester County, treating more than 45,000 patients a year. White Plains Hospital Center is a five-time winner of the Consumer Choice Award, an honor given to the nation's top hospitals by the National Research Corporation. WPHC is a member of the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System and the Stellaris Health Network, Inc. For additional information, visit

Heineken USA

Heineken USA Inc., the nation's premier beer importer, is a subsidiary of Heineken International BV, which is the world's most international brewer. Brands imported into the U.S. include: Heineken Lager, the world's most international beer brand; Heineken Premium Light; Amstel Light, a leading imported light beer brand; and Buckler non-alcoholic brew. Heineken USA is also the exclusive USA importer for the Tecate, Tecate Light, Dos Equis, Sol, Carta Blanca and Bohemia brands from FEMSA Cerveza of Mexico. Please visit

The Creative Coalition

The Creative Coalition is the leading 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community. Founded in 1989 by prominent members of the creative community, The Creative Coalition is dedicated to educating its members on issues of public importance, primarily the First Amendment, public education and arts advocacy. Headquartered in New York City, The Creative Coalition also has offices in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco. The Creative Coalition does not endorse or raise funds for political parties or candidates. For more information, please visit

SOURCE The Health Alliance on Alcohol
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