Parents and guardians play a critical role in whether teens drink underage. The efforts of even the most conscientious parents can be challenged by easy youth access to alcohol throughout the community. On May 21 and May 28 the Burleigh Morton Behavioral Health Student Committee and Bismarck/Mandan restaurants are partnering together for the Parents Lead Coaster Project, to educate parents and guardians on the importance of communicating with youth.
The Parents Lead Coaster Project is a public awareness campaign that takes a stand against underage drinking by having restaurants place coasters with their drinks. The coasters have messages aimed at adults regarding underage drinking and serve as a reminder that youth look to them for guidance and as role models.
Bismarck consistently ranks at or above the state averages when it comes to underage drinking. According to the 2019 North Dakota Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 31.6% of Bismarck-Mandan High School students currently drank alcohol in the past 30 days compared to 27.6% of North Dakota High School Students.
“Open communication, consistent monitoring, and clear boundaries can go a long way in preventing underage drinking,” said Sue Kahler, Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator at Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health. “Talking openly and honestly with your children about this topic and your household expectations is one of the most effective ways to prevent underage drinking.” For more resources and communication tools go to parentslead.org
To learn more about the Parents Lead Coaster Project, contact the Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health Substance Abuse Prevention Program at 701-355-1597.