Underage drinking. A serious problem in Illinois that carries serious consequences to teens, parents and the State alike. We’re not proud of the fact that the rates of underage drinking in Illinois are higher than the national average. However, we are proud of the innovative ways we have developed to address it.
Recently, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission has launched a parental responsibility campaign to combat these high rates. Why involve parents? Because our research shows that contrary to popular opinion, kids do listen to their parents. Parents who are involved in their children’s lives on a day-to-day basis, who talk with their kids about good decision-making, who give them the support to say no and provide fun alternatives to alcohol have remarkable success rates. And the sooner they start the conversation, the more effective they are.
That’s why our new campaign, aimed at parents of 8th grade students, taps into the power of parents to make positive change. Called “Talk it Up,” it gives parents the education, resources and tools to get talking, and keep talking, with their kids. We are reaching out through a variety of channels—radio ads and TV spots, billboards and bus cards, social media, blog posts, a redesigned website and all kinds of other methods—to get the word out. Bottom line: Parents know we have their back. Kids know their parents have their back. And together we are building a community that is changing the way we look—and talk about—underage drinking.
However, this is not all we do. As the body entrusted with safeguarding the health and safety of the people of Illinois, ILCC representatives travel the state, talk with schools and communities and build partnerships with groups with a similar mission. We stay on top of the latest research, and use it to create evidence-based best practices, strategies and interventions. In fact, the Talk It Up! Campaign is in direct response to the most recent Illinois Youth Survey.
Whether you are a parent or teacher, community member or interested citizen, we invite you to join us in helping to prevent underage drinking.