Holidays pose special dangers for underage drinking and drug abuse, parents should stay aware

November 22, 2017 — Underage drinking is down somewhat nationwide, which is good, but often alcohol issues can suddenly become worse especially around the holidays.  The holidays can raise the danger when mixing alcohol, house guests and parent’s lack of awareness.  In fact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports more alcohol-related driving deaths occurring the day before Thanksgiving than on New Year’s Eve.

Staying aware of what’s happening in your household can prevent tragedies surrounding drug and alcohol abuse.  Watch for how much your guests and family members are drinking.  If necessary offer a ride or call an friends and guest a cab.

Oh, and watch your medication when family stops in for a holiday visit. Prescription pills left sitting in the bathroom, out in the open, are easily accessible for kids and adults to get their hands on, whether accidentally or on purpose.  Take notice for your children if they find easy access to the drugs through family members.  Recognizing signs of substance abuse and getting help also is critical.

Holidays may also offer a moment to visit and talk about intervention if we see a family member struggling with addiction issues.  Extreme behavior changes or changes in appearance or functioning are often the clues to watch for. Then start asking questions and offer help.

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