Fairfax County, Va. - According to the National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, every year approximately 5,000 young people under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking.
That is why officials in Fairfax County launched a new campaign to help parents talk to their children about the dangers of alcohol. The "Talk. They hear you" campaign encourages positive communication on often uncomfortable subjects like underage drinking. The campaign suggests using topics of interest to start the conversation and role-playing how to turn down an offered drink.
"The research shows that more than 80% of youth identify their parents as the main reason for them not drinking, and a lot of youth want to hear from their parents because parents are ultimately their primary role model," said Leonardo Espina-Borrero, Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board behavioral health supervisor.
There's also a "Talk. They hear you." app available with interactive games to help learn the do's and don'ts of talking to kids about underage drinking.