April 21 is recognized as PowerTalk 21 Day, a day set aside to encourage parents to speak with their teens about the dangers of underage drinking, and to set a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking in their households.
Through both State of New Mexico and City of Albuquerque official proclamations and in partnership with the New Mexico Office of the Governor, Albuquerque Office of the Mayor, Bernalillo County’s Department of Substance Abuse Program, Albuquerque Public Schools, and other stakeholders statewide, MADD NM will conduct Power of Parents workshops, Power of You(th) presentations and youth-led environmental strategies to reduce and prevent underage drinking throughout the year.
The culmination of 21 Days in Support of 21 is a public press event today at Rio Grande High School in Albuquerque. Confirmed speakers include Gov. Susana Martinez, City of Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry, Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston and two Rio Grande High School students who have won MADD New Mexico’s Party Like MADD contest. These two students will share their winning messages of why they’ll wait for 21 to drink alcohol.
“There is no safe way for parents to ‘teach’ teens how to drink responsibly,” MADD New Mexico Executive Director Ben Lewinger said. “High school students who receive a clear message from their parents that drinking before 21 is completely unacceptable are more than 80 percent less likely to drink that teens who receive any other message, and the connection between teens who drink and adults with chronic drinking problems is very real.”
Each year, about 4,700 young people die as a result of underage drinking – with only a third having anything to do with a vehicle. The Power of Parents program helps parents to have the sometimes difficult, but potentially lifesaving conversations with their teens about the dangers of alcohol.
MADD is offering free 30-minute online parent workshops today — in both English and Spanish. Parents can register at madd.org/power-of-parents.
In addition, MADD New Mexico is happy to offer in-person Power of Parents workshops to businesses, faith groups, parent-teacher associations and other interested parties across the state. To see what workshops and activities are happening locally, or for conversation starters, tips and the Power of Parents handbook, visit www.madd.org/powertalk21.
To contact MADD NM, call 505.255.2955 or email email@example.com.