Old News Archive

OSA Launches Parent Media Campaign To Curb Underage Drinking

September 05, 2006 - TRC


The Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Substance Abuse (OSA) announced today the launch of a statewide media campaign to heighten parental awareness of Maine teen alcohol use and to provide parents with the skills and resources they need to better monitor teen behavior.

AUGUSTA - The Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Substance Abuse (OSA) announced today the launch of a statewide media campaign to heighten parental awareness of Maine teen alcohol use and to provide parents with the skills and resources they need to better monitor teen behavior.

Find Out More, Do More is a comprehensive media campaign targeting parents of teens focusing on practical tips that will be communicated via television ads, brochures, school informational sessions, media outreach, and www.maineparents.net.

"All Maine teens are at risk from underage alcohol use," said Kimberly Johnson, Director of the Office of Substance Abuse. "This is not only a state issue but also a personal issue;many of us have kids in this age group. Surveys show that we talk to our teens and ask the right questions. But they also show that the majority of Maine teens have already started drinking. What we're doing isn't enough. We need to change our behaviors so our teens will change theirs."

"As parents, we can do more if we know more," said Brenda Harvey, Commissioner of DHHS. "Through Find Out More, Do More, we are reaching out to parents, many of whom are already wondering if they're doing enough or if they're doing the right things. This is an important issue in our state and we need to help parents take on the challenge."

Find Out More, Do More was developed based on the results of a survey of parents with students in grades 8-12. Parents were polled in a statewide telephone survey conducted by Strategic Marketing Services of Portland. Parent data was contrasted with results for 8-12th graders from the 2006 Maine Youth Drug and Alcohol Use Survey (MYDAUS), in which teens reported on similar issues.

Combined survey results show huge discrepancies in parent and teen reports. For example, only six percent of parents surveyed reported that their teen had been using alcohol in the past 30 days; however, 36 percent of 8-12th graders reported past month alcohol use. Similarly, less than one percent of parents reported that their teen had engaged in recent binge drinking, defined by having five or more drinks in one sitting, in the past two weeks. However, almost 20 percent of teens reported that they had done so.

The survey results also demonstrate why parental monitoring is a critical piece of efforts to prevent underage drinking. The odds that a youth is engaged in alcohol use without their parents' permission are two and a half times higher among youth who believe their parents won't catch them. However, while 83 percent of parents believe they would catch their teen drinking, only 44 percent of teens said their parents would catch them.

Find Out More, Do More centers on practical tips, such as Limit Access, Network, Reinforce & Enforce, Check In, Be Up and Be Ready and provides a starting point for parental monitoring of teen behavior and alcohol use. For each of the five tips, there are three levels of monitoring-good, better, and best. As parents learn and practice new skills, they will be able to step up their monitoring level.

The campaign kicks off with three television ads and new monitoring tips and content at www.maineparents.net, a resource created by OSA for Maine parents to help reduce underage alcohol use and keep teens safe. The first ad, which uses instant messaging to show how parents may not know what plans their teens are making, will begin airing on Wednesday, September 13.
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About DHHS' Office of Substance Abuse (OSA)The Office of Substance Abuse is the single state administrative authority responsible for the planning, development, implementation, regulation and evaluation of substance abuse services. OSA provides leadership in substance abuse prevention, intervention, and treatment. Its goal is to enhance the health and safety of Maine citizens through the reduction of the overall impact of substance use, abuse and dependency. For more information, please visit www.maineosa.org.

About the Find Out More, Do More Campaign"Find Out More, Do More" is a parent media campaign created by OSA to heighten parental awareness of Maine's underage alcohol use. The campaign focuses on practical tips that will be communicated via television ads, brochures, school informational sessions, media outreach, and www.maineparents.net to provide parents with the skills and resources they need to better monitor teen behavior. Launched in September 2006, Find Out More, Do More was developed based on statewide survey results and parent input. Practical tips, such as Limit Access, Network, Reinforce & Enforce, Check In, Be Up and Be Ready, provide a starting point for parental monitoring of teens. For more information, please visit www.maineparents.net.


FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Kimberly Johnson, Director Office of Substance Abuse (207) 287-6344
and/or
Elizabeth Horton de Meza, Ethos Marketing and Design,(207) 856-2610 X240
ehorton@ethos-marketing.com


NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.