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Avoiding Underage Drinking on New Year’s Eve

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence-Orange County/Community Alliance Network is urging parents and adults to host responsible New Year’s Eve parties.

According to the 2008 California Healthy Kids Survey, 74 percent of 11th graders and 59 percent of ninth-graders across Orange County report that it is easy to get alcohol, which is reported to be the most abused substance among local youth.

The organization offers parents the following guidelines to keep teens safe and prevent underage drinking:

• If alcohol will be present at the New Year’s Eve party, be sure to control access to it;

• avoid serving from common sources such as kegs or punch bowls;

• consider hiring a trained professional bartender/server at your party;

• request proper identification for anyone who appears 30 years of age or younger; guests who do not present valid ID should not be given alcohol;

• make sure whoever is pouring the drinks is not consuming alcohol and that he or she monitors other guests’ consumption;

• offer snacks and appetizers as well as non‐alcoholic drinks, such as sparkling cider, fruit juices, soda, bottled water, and coffee as an alternative to alcohol;

• model appropriate behavior for your guests, and remind them that becoming intoxicated is not the goal of the party; and

• plan entertainment, interactive board games or other activities so that drinking is not the primary focus of the party.

For more info: contact Grace Tan at 949-595-2288, ext. 315, or [email protected]

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