SANTA FE — Tuesday, the New Mexico Department of Transportation announced a campaign to combat underage drinking in New Mexico. ZeroProof provides resources for kids, parents, teachers and the community to reduce underage drinking.
“Ending underage drinking starts with all of us,” NMDOT Cabinet Secretary Tom Church said. “That’s why our campaign is so focused on educating teens, teachers and parents about the dangers of underage drinking. As a result, we hope to create a safer New Mexico – especially on our roads and highways.”
So far, there are two websites: one for teens, the other for parents and teachers. They include stories and facts about underage drinking – including the effects on the brain. Soon, the campaign will also launch an app for students to upload and share selfies with others who choose to abstain from drinking.
Underage drinking can increase the risk of alcohol problems later in life. It can also lead to immediate health and financial problems. By choosing not to drink, children and teens can avoid school suspensions and expulsions; academic failure; impaired social and mental development; psychological and emotional problems; and drinking and driving.
Since 2005, underage drinking in New Mexico has decreased by 38 percent. Drinking before the age of 13 decreased by 33 percent. Youth binge drinking decreased by 49 percent. And drunk driving by our youth decreased by 38 percent.
“Making our communities and families healthier is a top priority for our department,” DOH Cabinet Secretary Lynn Gallagher said. “By bringing these resources and community partners together, we’ll be able to make even more progress in helping more of our kids say no to alcohol.”
Kids and teens can visit the ZeroProof website here.