December – Coalition Corner
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
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
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
(prevention): Designed to create environments and conditions that support behavioral health and the ability of
individuals to withstand challenges and reinforce the entire
These services include screening and a focus on increasing insight and
awareness regarding substance use and motivation towards behavioral change.
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
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.