Spring is a time of renewal and opportunity. In southern Illinois, this usually means spring cleaning and open windows, field trips and graduations, morel hunting and tick season. This particular spring, however, has brought with it plenty of unexpected challenges. Families have had to change everything to accommodate school cancellations and closed businesses.
Parents everywhere are suddenly having to explain to their kids why they can’t hang out with their friends while trying to teach them how long 20 seconds of hand washing actually is. Life is not business as usual right now, but the desire to keep your kids safe and healthy stays the same.Studies have shown that friends and family4 are a leading source of alcohol for teens and that alcohol consumption can increase following a major disaster5. In addition to the social and legal risk factors of underage drinking, there are health risks that are particularly relevant. A6 2015 issue of Alcohol Research: Current Reviews, explains how excessive alcohol consumption can weaken the immune system. This makes the body more susceptible to infections like pneumonia, acute respiratory stress syndromes (ARDS), sepsis, and more.
Please use this extra time together as an opportunity to talk to your kids about the risks of alcohol, and make sure they know that underage drinking will not be tolerated.
Protect your kids. Take care of yourself.
Funded in whole or in part by the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery through a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.