Parents are key to curbing underage drinking – The Delta Discovery, Inc.


by the Fairbanks Native American Society

The Fairbanks Native Association launches a campaign to educate parents about the risks of underage drinking, especially when alcohol is served.

FNA’s Strategic Prevention Framework program uses the nationwide “Parents Who Lose the Most” campaign in Fairbanks. The goal is to remind parents that serving alcohol to minors is unsafe, unhealthy, unacceptable, and illegal in Alaska. I am planning to do a simple survey.

“Teens who start drinking before the age of 15 are five times more likely to develop alcoholism and abuse later in life,” said SPF Program Manager Brenda Hannah. “Also, the teenage brain develops until her mid-twenties. Alcohol damages areas of the brain that control cognitive reasoning, memory and learning.”

Teenage drinking increases the likelihood of risky behavior and alcohol addiction. Young people who drink alcohol are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety disorders.

It’s also a legal issue, Hannah said. In Alaska, anyone under the age of 21 who drinks alcohol can be prosecuted and fined.

Adults who supply alcohol to young people are more serious. Anyone over the age of 19 who serves her alcohol can be charged with a class A misdemeanor for complicity in the delinquency of a minor. This also entails fines and attorney fees.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that 37.8% of Alaskan youth drink alcohol provided by others, slightly below the national average. According to state statistics, in Fairbanks, 8.1% of her students in the Fairbanks-North Star Borough School District say they currently drink. Still, 57% reported having tried alcohol on at least one of her occasions.

Less clearly understood are parental attitudes towards youth alcohol use. Hannah wants to use stickers with QR codes to find adult perceptions that lead to a five-question survey.

The program is in partnership with Effie Kokrine Charter School and The Alliance, a partnership of Alaskan groups that recognize the impact of alcohol abuse on individuals and communities. They are looking for more partners.

FNA SPF wants young people to find encouragement in the fact that most people do not use alcohol. The goal of the FNA SPF is to prevent the onset and slow progression of alcohol abuse in her 9- to 20-year-old in the Fairbanks-North Star District. This program works with a community coalition known as the Interagency Transition Council to change attitudes, policies, laws and ordinances that limit access and harmful consequences of alcohol use.

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