NE Seattle parents: we want your opinions!

What do you think about youth alcohol and marijuana use?

Prevention WINS is conducting a parent survey about underage drinking and youth marijuana use in northeast Seattle. Please take the survey and make your opinions on the subject known!

The survey is short and easy to take. All you need to do is go online to and take 10 minutes to let us know what you, as parents, think about youth substance use. The survey is anonymous and confidential and will help our community to plan prevention activities.

Free parenting workshops: preventing youth substance use

Free Guiding Good Choices workshops -- space still available!

Seattle Children's Hospital
Five Mondays starting April 26
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
For more information and to register contact Kelly Kerby.

University Family YMCA
Five Tuesdays starting May 4
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
For more information and to register contact Lisa Steenson.

Guiding Good Choices is an evidence-based substance abuse prevention program for parents of children in grades 4-8. The workshops are offered for free in northeast Seattle thanks to a grant from the Washington State Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery which ends July 31, 2010.

Pediatrics and underage drinking


The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement underscoring the critical role pediatricians play in discouraging children and teens from drinking alcohol. The policy statement, "Alcohol Use by Youth and Adolescents: A Pediatric Concern," will appear in the May issue of Pediatrics.

Alcohol consumption can interfere with adolescent brain development, and use of alcohol early in life is associated with future alcohol-related problems, because it:

-- Contributes to the leading causes of teen deaths: accidental injury, homicide, and suicide;

-- Increases greatly the chances teens will engage in other risky actions such as substance use, unsafe sex, and violent behavior;

-- Affects developing brains and general health, including possibly harming liver function and ability to fight infections.

The authors recommend additional research into prevention, screening and identification, brief intervention and management, and treatment of alcohol and other substance use by adolescents.

Hello Kitty wine?

When asked by the LA Weekly blog writer if the Hello Kitty label will attract underage drinkers, the CEO of the company marketing the wine in the United States said, "There will always be a concern when it comes to marketing a brand identity that has appeal to both adults and children. As a company, we follow all industry standards and guidelines for age verification . . . My take on this: with over 60,000 Hello Kitty sku's in the marketplace and at 35 years old now, she is definitely ready for more adult skewed products. I don't think that the $15,000 Hello Kitty handbags are aimed at children either."

As the Marin Institute points out, "Hello Kitty's portfolio may have expanded from inexpensive coin purses for girls to include luxury fashion bags for women, but alcohol is not like any other product. It is not for children and adults alike, and should not be advertised as such."

According to a fact sheet about alcohol advertising and youth from the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, "A study on the responses of young people to alcohol advertising found that underage youth are drawn to music, animals and people characters, story and humor in alcohol advertising. Ads that were liked by youth in the study were more likely to elicit responses from youth saying they wanted to purchase the brand and product advertised. The three most popular alcohol ads among youth in the study used animal characters as the leading actors."

Beer tax good for prevention

The Washington State Legislature is currently considering a revenue package that includes a temporary increase in the beer tax. Here is some information about beer taxes from a prevention point of view.

From the Marin Institute:
Alcohol Tax FAQ
Neglected and Outdated Beer Taxes
Charge for Harm - Taxes and Fees

Americans Overwhelmingly Support Increase in State Alcohol Tax

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Underage Drinking fact sheet lists increasing alcohol excise taxes as a strategy for reducing underage drinking.

UW prevention lectures online

The University of Washington School of Social Work's 2009-2010 Endowed Professor Lecture Series includes lectures by Rico Catalano and David Hawkins, leaders in substance abuse prevention science. Both lectures may be viewed online.

Promoting Positive Adolescent and Adult Functioning through Social Development Intervention in Childhood, December 9, 2010, Dr. Catalano.

Energizing the Community to Nurture Young People, February 17, 2010, Dr. Hawkins.