LETTER: Prom perfect time to talk about alcohol

It’s Alcohol Awareness Month, and what a better time to talk about alcohol prevention when prom season is in session.

Alcohol Awareness Month started in 1987 to help reduce the stigma on alcohol addiction.

Throughout the month of April there are national, statewide, and local events aimed at educating people about prevention on alcohol.

Take a few minutes to educate yourself on what is going on in the community to take initiative on promoting prevention.

According to the Texas School Survey of 2018, 33.5% 7th to 12th grade students in South Texas have consumed alcohol within the academic school year, meaning that 1/3 of students partake in drinking within a year.

When asked, “what is the age they first tried alcohol?” The students responded 13.4 years old. In addition, one fifth of 7th to 12th grade students reported that there was alcohol “always” or “almost always” present at parties.

Now that you know the data, here is what you can do to prevent youth alcohol consumption in your community.

You can educate others, such as parents and teachers, on what the data discussed in this letter to the editor.

If you are a parent or guardian, have a conversation with your youth on the consequences that come with consuming alcohol at a young age.

Be specific on the consequences and reassure them that these rules are placed for their safety and protection from risks associated with alcohol use, such as poisoning, embarrassing behavior, and awful situations like rape or even death.

The Prevention Resource Center, a program of Behavioral Health Solutions of South Texas, serves as the central data collection repository for South Texas.

To find out more about the prevention work being conducted in your community visit, www.prc11.org or call (956) 787-7111.

Martha Gutierrez

Pharr