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This weekend’s Parade magazine’s Special Report covered the important topic of teens and extreme drinking. The report introduced the reader to the topic through the story of Rory who called her parents in a drunken panic during her first few weeks of college. Unfortunately, there are countless stories just like this one. Some end up alright while too many others end in tragedy.

For twenty years, The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility has encourage parents and their children to talk about underage drinking. In middle school, the focus may be how to resist peer pressure. In high school, conversations often center on drunk driving and how alcohol affects adults differently than young people. And in college, it is important to remind teens that the legal drinking age is twenty-one and to understand the dangerous consequences of binge drinking. Over, and over, and over again, parents should be helping their young people make responsible decisions about alcohol and living up to their role as the leading influence on their child’s decision to drink or not to drink.

Parade’s “What Parents Can Do” column in the Special Report provided some helpful tips for parents. But, if you’re looking for “signs of extreme drinking” it may already be too late. Check out our resources on underage drinking and get resources that will help jumpstart your conversations.

Rory survived her night out. Not everyone does.