Utah Governor Spencer Cox today declared April Alcohol Awareness Month in Utah. (The declaration can be found here.) The governor’s declaration recognizes the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s role in promoting alcohol safety in its work to end underage drinking and raise awareness about the harms that alcohol misuse can cause.

“The state of Utah is committed to promoting healthy families and reducing the harmful effects of alcohol consumption,” said Governor Cox in his declaration.

The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Director Tiffany Clason says the governor’s declaration emphasizes the state’s commitment to alcohol safety education for all Utah families.

“The single most important thing we do at the DABC is educate on responsible-only alcohol consumption. That means no drinking underage, no driving while under the influence, and reminding people about the health risks associated with drinking alcohol,” said Clason. “The DABC is committed to fulfilling our role to reasonably satisfy public demand for alcohol products, working in collaboration with local businesses that sell alcohol, while educating the public on the harms that alcohol misuse can cause.”

The governor’s declaration points to an American Medical Association finding that excessive alcohol use is responsible for more than 95,000 deaths in the United States each year. The declaration goes on to acknowledge the DABC’s alcohol prevention education work through its participation and management of the Parents Empowered committee.

The declaration cites Utah SHARP survey data that underage drinking in Utah is the lowest rate ever recorded at 4.3 percent, down 64 percent since 2005. DABC Director Clason praises the work of the Parents Empowered committee as contributing to the reduction of underage drinking through their statewide, data-driven prevention efforts.

What Can Parents Do?

Spend time with your kids

When parents take the time to have frequent and meaningful conversations with their kids, it builds trust and strengthens relationships. Kids who feel close to their parents are much more likely to listen when their parents set a clear “no underage drinking” rule to protect their health and safety.

Have regular conversations

A great way to start those conversations is during family mealtime. Eating a meal together gives parents the chance to strengthen relationships with their kids and facilitate discussions about the family rules against underage drinking.

Because studies show that kids who regularly eat with their family—at least five times per week—are 33 percent less likely to use alcohol.

Let your influence be felt

Utah’s youth have self-reported that the #1 influence in their life is their parents and the main reason they choose not to drink is parental disapproval.

Express strong disapproval

After communicating your strong disapproval of underage drinking, then parents need to stay involved in their kids’ daily lives, because all kids need help to stay alcohol-free.

Where to lean more about Parents Empowered

To learn more about Parents Empowered and what you can do to help prevent your child from experimenting with alcohol visit www.ParentsEmpowered.org.

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