Know More Kansas

APRIL IS NATIONAL ALCOHOL AWARENESS MONTH

As a young person, you have more power than you think when it comes to saying “no.”  Developing your personal power to refuse to drink alcohol takes planning ahead to stay in control.  The Kansas Prevention Collaborative would like to help you by sharing facts to know, drills to help train your refusal skills and encouragement to flex your authority to say “no.” 

Every superhero has supporting people. In this toolkit you will find information for supporting adults and communities to assist your young people in their quest to stay alcohol free.

“Own Your Personal Power”

Where to start?

KNOW:

Get the facts

  • Alcohol is a drug that depresses the whole body and impairment begins with the very first drink.  
  • Everybody is not drinking, 9 out of 10 Kansas youth have reported that they have not drank alcohol in the past 30 days. (KCTCdata.org) 
  • Underage drinking is against the law in Kansas. No person under 21 shall possess, consume, obtain, purchase, or attempt to obtain or purchase alcoholic liquor or cereal malt beverages except as authorized by law.
    • Fines up to $500, Up to 40 hours community service , 30 days up to a year suspended license.  
    • Check out other Kansas Alcohol Related Laws here.
  • You choose your friends.  Having a group of great friends that share your desire to stay alcohol free will help you keep your promise to yourself.   
    • As a group:
      • Make a Pact – to stay sober together. 
      • Have a Plan – give permission for any friend to help each other out of uncomfortable or dangerous situations involving alcohol. 

TRAIN:

Practice what you want to say and/or do if you are ever offered an alcoholic beverage.  

  • Be honest. 
  • Match your body language with your words. 
  • Practice your reason for “no.” 
    • “I’m not a drinker. I’m a thinker” 
    • “No thanks, I don’t need or want it.” 
    • “No thanks, being sober is my superpower.” 
  • Suggest something else to do. 
    • “No. Let’s go play ball instead.” 
    • “Let’s go get a snack at my house. I’m hungry.” 
    • “I wanted to play Xbox this afternoon.” 
  • Walk away.One of the most effective refusal skills is to simply walk away. 

FLEX:

Use your personal power and say “no.”

  • Use what you learned in practice. 
    • Say “no” 
    • Do something else 
    • Walk away 
  • Be a good friend.  
    • Check in with your friends if you notice: 
      • Loss of interest in activities and hobbies and in personal appearance 
      • Red eyes, slurred speech, problems with coordination and memory lapses 
      • Difficulties or changes in relationships with friends, such as joining a new crowd 
      • Declining grades and problems in school or missing and having problems at work 
      • Frequent mood changes and defensive behavior 

Supporting Adults

Research indicates that alcohol use during the teenage years could interfere with normal adolescent brain development and increase the risk of developing alcohol use disorder (AUD). In addition, underage drinking contributes to a range of acute consequences, including injuries, sexual assaults, and even deaths—including those from car crashes.” – Partners in Prevention

What can you do? 

  • Be a Role Model for responsibility.
    • Your tween hearing you make plans about your night with friends including being alcohol responsible.  
  • Make sure conversations happen early and often.  
    • A conversation with your tween when they ask for a sip? 
    • Remind your teen as they head out the door to meet friends? 
  • Check in with your child if notice any of these signs.  
    • Loss of interest in activities and hobbies and in personal appearance 
    • Red eyes, slurred speech, problems with coordination and memory lapses 
    • Difficulties or changes in relationships with friends, such as joining a new crowd 
    • Declining grades and problems in school or missing and having problems at work 
    • Frequent mood changes and defensive behavior 

Check out more parent/guardian support resources at:  responsibility.org

Supporting Communities

“In 2019, among 12- to 14-year-olds who reported that they drank alcohol in the past month, 96.5 percent reported that they got it for free the last time they drank.” – SAMHSA. 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health 

Check out what the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares that communities can do to create social and physical environments that discourage excessive alcohol consumption thereby, reducing alcohol – related fatalities, costs, and other harms. 

Learn More Here

More about the National Alcohol Awareness Month

Established in 1987, alcohol awareness month allows communities to focus on spreading awareness and reducing the stigma associated with alcohol addiction. Observance of this awareness campaign also highlights the need for education on the dangers of unsafe alcohol consumptions.”
~ Partners in Prevention 

Additional Resources: