Dear Experts on underage drinking,
Recently, our teenagers took part in a survey conducted by the Wake Forest School of Medicine. They told my husband and me that kids have recently attended parties where alcohol is present.
We don’t want our teens to drink or attend parties where alcohol is available. We have heard of a social hosting ordinance in other communities in Georgia. Would this be a benefit to Troup County? How can we become involved in the process?
Dear Responsible Parents,
You are correct. There are many parties in our community where teenagers attend and alcohol is present. Unfortunately many of these parties are held at teens’ homes where the parents are present in many instances. Oftentimes teenagers have friends over and are drinking alcohol unbeknown to their parents. In this instance it is the responsibility of the parent to monitor what is happening in their home.
A social hosting ordinance — SHO — would hold parents accountable for what is happening in their home. As a parent, it is important for me to know that it is illegal for another parent to host a party where alcohol is present, and they would be held accountable should the teens be drinking in their home.
A SHO also provides a tool for law enforcement to hold parents and other adults accountable for allowing teens to drink alcohol in their home. Unfortunately, there are adults other than parents who choose to allow teens to drink at their home.
Other counties in Georgia have passed social hosting ordinances which have significantly reduced the number of teen alcohol parties in their communities. Some of these communities include Fayette County, Dawson County, Cobb County and Gwinnet County.
Across the country, social hosting ordinances are becoming the norm in combating access to alcohol among teens.
As a parent, the Troup County Prevention Coalition would love to have your support and representation on our coalition. For more information please contact me, Shannon Lawson, at [email protected] or by phone at 706-298-2148 ext.1221.
You can also visit our website at www.troupprevention.org. Please follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/troupprevention.
Twin Cedars Youth and Family Services may be contacted at 706-298-0050. Anyone who wants to submit a question to be answered in this column may send it to Twin Cedars, Attn: Mike Angstadt, PO Box 1526, LaGrange, GA 30241.