Campaign aims to curb statewide teen drinking by informing parents of dangers
Colorado ranks 9th in the nation for teen binge drinking and alcohol remains the drug of choice for teens across the state. In an attempt to help curb this disturbing trend the “Speak Now” campaign, a statewide initiative aimed at encouraging parents to talk to their teens about the dangers of underage drinking, is announcing a partnership with the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA). Outreach will include participation at state athletic championships where parents are already supporting their teens’ healthy lives.
Research conducted in 2012 by the “Speak Now” campaign shows an astonishing 97 percent of parents say they have had conversations about alcohol with their teens, yet the latest Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, administered to high school students statewide, indicates roughly 50 percent of teens say they have had this conversation with their parents. This data points to the importance of finding more ways to motivate parents to have conversations about the dangers of alcohol to close the communication gap with their teens.
“We’re thrilled to be teaming up with CHSAA,” said Stan Paprocki, Director of Early Prevention and Early Intervention for the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health. “This partnership is working toward a common goal of creating a generation of healthy, successful Coloradans.”
Through the partnership with CHSAA, the “Speak Now” campaign was able to connect with parents of teens at the 4A/5A Basketball State Championship event held at the Coors Event Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Additional outreach this year will include the upcoming Colorado High School Track and Field State Championships on Saturday, May 18 at the Jefferson County Stadium. Outreach conducted at the championship will focus on the negative impacts of alcohol through an on-site DUI simulator where teens and parents will be offered the opportunity to experience driving under the influence first hand.
“Students who participate in athletics or activities learn a lot of great lessons from their coaches,” said Paul Angelico, Commissioner of the Colorado High School Activities Association. “The Speak Now campaign reminds parents they are coaches too, and play a critical role by helping their teens make smart choices each day.”
The Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health administers the “Speak Now” campaign, which received federal funding for the five-year effort from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP). The grant is referred to as the Colorado Prevention Partnership for Success (CPPS) initiative. For further information on the “Speak Now” campaign, visit www.SpeakNowColorado.org (www.HableAhoraColorado.org in Spanish).
About Speak Now
The “Speak Now” campaign is part of the Colorado Prevention Partnership for Success (CPPS) statewide underage binge drinking initiative focused on implementing evidence-based substance abuse prevention practices, policies and approaches that build local and state prevention infrastructure in Colorado.
About the Colorado Department of Human Services
The Colorado Department of Human Services assists struggling Colorado families who need food, financial and energy assistance to provide for their families; families in need of safe and affordable child care; children at risk of abuse or neglect; families who struggle to provide care for their adult children with developmental disabilities; youth who have violated the law and need structure and guidance to grow into responsible and compassionate adults; Coloradans who need effective treatment for mental illness or substance abuse issues; and families who need resources to care for their elderly parents or nursing home care for their veteran parents. Our commitment every day is to be “people who help people.”