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MADD South Carolina

Submitted by Ashley Merrick


Seventy-four percent of teens say their parents are the biggest influence regarding their decision to drink underage.


Teen alcohol use kills over 4,000 people each year.


At MADD South Carolina, we work to provide education regarding underage alcohol use.


One conclusion we have drawn from our research is that parents play a big part in their teenager's views and thoughts concerning alcohol.


Are you wondering what you can do?


First, you can start by having a conversation with a teenager or the teenagers in your life regarding alcohol. Find out what they've heard, what they know, and what they may have experienced already.


You can help them change any misperceptions they may have and steer them toward making wise choices. It's important that you have regular, on-going conversations about this topic.


Parents and guardians who regularly talk with their teenagers about underage alcohol use have a profound effect on reducing the chances of their teens drinking alcohol underage or using other drugs.


Lastly, you can find ways to keep your teenagers engaged and talking with you.


One tip is to connect over music by creating a family playlist. Encourage your teenagers when they do make good choices. You can also ask them to teach you their favorite activities. For more ideas on how to engage your teenager, go to www.powerofparents.org.


MADD South Carolina is committed to protecting families from drunk and drugged driving and underage drinking because studies show that kids who start drinking at a young age are seven times more likely to be involved in alcohol-related crashes.


For more information or resources, you can visit www.madd.org/sc or find us on Facebook at MADD South Carolina.


Ashley Merrick is program specialist at MADD SC. To reach out, you may email her at

ashley.merrick@madd.org or call 803.748.7333 ext.5254.

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