News: Your Kids Are Drinking

Air Date: 12/15/2008

A recent survey by the State of Nebraska revealed that one out of every four kids in Nebraska had their first taste of alcohol before they reached age 13. By their senior year in high school, about half the students in the state are drinking at least once a month.

According to experts in the fields of alcohol abuse, traffic safety, law enforcement and youth corrections, a substantial amount of the blame for the amount of alcohol consumed and the relaxed attitude towards its consumption comes directly from parents and other adults.

Your Kids are Drinking explores how lax attitudes among adults aggravate the youth drinking problem and corresponding ways that adults can provide realistic solutions.

Your Kids are Drinking opens with several documentary segments, including a visit to small town street dances where heavy drinking is a tradition and families protect their teenage drinkers. Then, in Omaha, cameras follow under-aged decoys as they purchase liquor from stores and restaurants. The segments also look at how law enforcement officials are not only ticketing the under-age offender, but also trying to identify the individual who purchased the liquor for the youth.

The program includes a panel discussion with experts in the area of adolescent behavior and alcohol abuse to provide insights into how adults can better work with teenagers to shape responsible use of alcohol.

Panel members include: Sara Doghman, Project Extra Mile/Omaha Central High School student; Jackie Miller, chief administrator for Community Health, Division of Public Health, State of Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services; and Prof. Ian Newman, director of the Nebraska Prevention Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse.