MADD Joins Forces With Alcohol Awareness Month
MADD – Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD, first started in 1980 after the tragic death of 13-year old Cari Lightner inspired her mother, Candace Lightner, to bring awareness to and change the laws regarding drunk driving in her state of California. When fellow mom Cindi Lamb also lost a child to a drunk driver, she and other moms of victims joined Candace, and MADD was born.
Its goal? To help the victims of and ultimately end drunk driving.
Sprouting from the grief of mothers dealing with the untimely and tragic death of their children, Mothers Against Drunk Driving has grown to be one of the most influential and widely recognized non-profit organizations in the United States.
According to SAMHSA, underage drinking is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths per year. To help combat this number, MADD takes advantage of April as Alcohol Awareness Month by promoting a program called PowerTalk 21. This program aims to open communications between parents and their children about the dangers of underage drinking. According to the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality in 2015, one in seven teens binge drink, yet only 1 in 100 parents believe their teens binge drink, which is why this is such an important topic to discuss. Even if you are sure that your children aren’t drinking, talking with them now can prevent future abuse of it.
Science has shown that teenagers react differently to alcohol than adults. They get drunk more easily, binge more often, and have trouble knowing when enough is enough. Because of this, their chances for drinking too much and getting alcohol poisoning is much higher. Being underage, they also run the risk of getting arrested and convicted of drinking under the age limit. They also put themselves and others in danger should they drive drunk or get into a car with a drunk driver.
How you can help
Many parents claim that their children, teenagers especially, don’t listen to them and never do what they say. While you may be experiencing this rough period in your relationship, don’t give up. Even if it seems like they’re not listening, the more you let them know how much you care, the more they will remember you as a source of help in their time of need. Parents are the most influential people in a child’s life. A nationwide survey conducted by MADD shows that teens who never talked with their parents about alcohol, or never knew their parent’s standards regarding it, were over 5 times more likely to drink than teens who did. Being able to talk honestly about alcohol and its consequences help children and teens know they have a safe and supportive environment at home in which they can bring up any questions or concerns they have without fear.
Don’t let your child become another statistic. This April, take the time to sit down with your children and talk with them about the dangers alcohol presents.