David Seitz, MD

New York Internist, David Seitz, MD, Medical Director of the Recovery Center at Nyack Hospital
shares how to work with your teens to avoid alcohol use.

Nyack, N.Y. April 11, 2014 –    April is Alcohol Awareness Month and it’s a good time to evaluate how effectively you are communicating about alcohol use with your family, especially your teens. Alcoholism and alcohol-related problems touch all Americans, either directly or indirectly. It affects people of all ages, ethnicities, genders, geographic regions and socioeconomic levels.

The theme of the month is “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow.” For people who are struggling with alcoholism, help is available. There are more than 20 million people currently in recovery. To reduce the devastating impact of alcoholism in the future, we need to educate young people about the extreme risks involved in underage alcohol use.

The longer someone postpones starting to drink, the less likely they are to develop an addiction. As a parent, you do have an influence on your child’s behavior. Here are some tips from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) on how to help your teen avoid drinking:                                                                                                                       

  • Don’t be afraid to be tough. You can help your teen to say no by taking a tough stand, and telling them they can’t drink. They can say, “My parents would kill me if I drank.” Set clear rules about not riding in a car with someone who has been drinking or using drugs, and not staying at a party where alcohol or drugs are present. Don’t let your teen host parties at your house without parental supervision. If rules are broken, make sure there are consequences.

  • Know your child’s friends. Encourage them to come to your house, so you can get to know them.

  • Meet the parents of their friends. You can share your rules about alcohol and drugs. Once you know them, it’s easier to call them if your teen goes to a party at their house, to make sure there will be adequate parental supervision.

  • Keep your kids busy. Encourage them to become involved in school and community activities, such as sports, music or a part-time job. The busier they are, the less time they will have to hang out with friends and drink or use drugs. Know where they are—check in with them regularly.

  • Set a positive example. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Don’t use illegal drugs. If you host a party, make sure non-alcohol beverages are available, and don’t let anyone get behind the wheel after drinking.                                                                                         
  • Lock up alcohol and prescription drugs. The most common source of alcohol and prescription medications for teens is their parents.

  • Don’t wait to get help. If you suspect your teen has a problem with alcohol or drugs, get help right away.

Teen drinking is a problem in every community. Take steps now to help your teens avoid the many problems associated with alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

About The Recovery Center at Nyack Hospital
The Addiction Services of Nyack Hospital provides complete care to those struggling with substance abuse and chemical dependency. The Recovery Center offers medically monitored detoxification.  Inpatient care and outpatient programs are offered conveniently at Nyack Hospital in a comfortable, secure and confidential environment.  The Recovery Center for Change is a satellite program which honors our commitment to outreach and the removal of barriers that prevent the community from accessing our hospital-based services. 

Nyack Hospital is a 375-bed community acute care medical and surgical hospital located in Rockland County, NY. Founded in 1895, it is a member of the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System, an affiliate of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and has partnered with Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine providing clinical rotations to third-year medical students. Its mission is to provide competent, innovative and accessible emergency and acute care services to the residents of Rockland County and surrounding areas.