#WeTalked 
 
As part of its “Talk. They Hear You.” campaign (http://thndr.me/DhKwYw), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is encouraging parents, caregivers, and other adult role models to have ongoing conversations with kids about the dangers of underage drinking, and then share their experiences on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #WeTalked. The #WeTalked hashtag spreads the message about underage drinking prevention, and encourages other parents to have these important conversations too.
 
It’s never too early for parents to talk to their kids about underage drinking – 10% of 9- to 10-year-olds have already tried alcohol,[1] and by age 15, that number jumps to 50 percent.[2] But parents have a significant influence on whether their kids drink,[3] and can help prevent underage drinking by talking to their kids early and often. More than 80% of young people ages 10-18 say their parents are the leading influence on their decision to drink or not drink.[4],[5]
 
Take advantage of family time over the holidays to have these important conversations. Use the #WeTalked hashtag, and encourage others to start talking too.
 

[1] Donovan, J., Leech, S., Zucker, R., Loveland-Cherry, C., Jester, J., Fitzgerald, H., et al.  (2004). Really underage drinkers: Alcohol use among elementary students.  Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 28(2), 341–349.

 
[2] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking: A Guide to Action for Educators. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, 2007.
 
[3] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking: A Guide to Action for Educators. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, 2007.
 
[4] Jackson, C. (2002). Perceived legitimacy of parental authority and tobacco and alcohol use during early adolescence. Journal of Adolescent Health, 31(5), 425–432.
 
[5] Nash, S.G., McQueen, A., and Bray, J.H. (2005). Pathways to adolescent alcohol use: Family environment, peer influence, and parental expectations. Journal of Adolescent Health, 37(1), 19–28.