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December – Coalition Corner


Creating Safe and Joyful Holiday Celebrations

The winter holidays are a time to enjoy the company of family, friends and co-workers. Where does substance use fit into this picture? According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), at least 50 percent of all deadly car crashes that occur during the holiday season involve alcohol. Creating a safe environment and encouraging healthy behaviors during holiday parties can save lives.


So, you might ask, where is the harm in allowing teenagers an alcoholic drink to share in a family toast? Let’s make a list.

·         The younger a child is when he starts to drink, the more likely he or she will have alcohol-related problems later in life.

·         Alcohol use by teens affects still-developing brains and impairs memory and learning.

·         Teens who drink are more likely to commit or be the victim of violence (including sexual assault) and to experience stress, depression, and suicidal thoughts.


Parent influence is a very powerful deterrent—according to Teens Today, almost seven in ten high school teens (66 percent) rate mom and dad as most influential in their decisions not to drink.  


There are some simple things that you can do to lessen the exposure of your children to holiday substances. Consider these holiday celebration tips:

·         At your holiday gatherings, offer plenty of non-alcoholic foods, drinks and activities.

·         Model responsible behavior by making sure that guests who have been drinking do not drive.

·         Let your child know what to expect. Tell your children that adults may be drinking alcohol during the holidays, but under no circumstances are they allowed to.

·         To lower the risk of alcohol poisoning, be sure to empty partially full alcoholic drinks. Children love to imitate adults; if they have access to leftover drinks they may be tempted.  Make sure to keep all of these products out of the reach of children.


Monadnock Voices for Prevention encourages more dialogue around underage drinking—especially before and during the holiday season.  Our messages should be consistent and clear:  underage drinking is unhealthy, unsafe, and unacceptable.  Visit our website at www.monadnockvoices.org.

 All of us at MVP wish you a safe and joyful holiday season




Continuum of Care



Prevention: Delivered prior to the onset of a disorder, these interventions are intended to prevent or reduce the risk of developing a behavioral health problem, such as substance misuse.

Health Promotion (prevention): Designed to create environments and conditions that support  behavioral health and the ability of individuals to withstand challenges and reinforce the entire

Intervention: These services include screening and a focus on increasing insight and awareness regarding substance use and motivation towards behavioral change.

Addiction: A chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.

Treatment : These services are for people diagnosed with a substance use or other behavioral health disorder.

Recovery: These services are for people diagnosed  with a substance use or other behavioral health disorder. A process of change through which an individual achieves abstinence and improved health, wellness and quality of life.


Continuum of Care: A comprehensive approach to behavioral health that reminds us to think more explicitly about the relationship between prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery. Individuals have a full range of stage-appropriate services from which to choose.