Delaying That First Drink: A Parents' Guide was produced by the AAAS Science Inside Alcohol Project, which is funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse. It discusses research on the impact of alcohol on the growing body and offers tips on how to talk to kids about drinking. The book, which is available online, is meant to build awareness among parents, caregivers, coaches, and others who interact with kids about the effects that alcohol can have on young bodies, particularly on brain development. It discusses the impact of alcohol on the digestive system, the central nervous system, the heart, the liver, and other organs. The new guide is meant to be used as a companion to a series of Science Inside Alcohol middle-school lessons that AAAS has developed or as a stand-alone tool that parents can use in talking with their children.
Delaying That First Drink: A Parents' Guide should be a useful tool for providing parents and teachers of middle school-aged students with science-based information about underage drinking. Content is divided into three major sections: the first summarizes current research about underage drinking, especially as it pertains to the youngest teens; the second provides a plain language primer on how alcohol affects major body systems; and the third provides practical, research-based strategies to help parents talk to their kids about science and alcohol. Educators will find the information useful to enhance their own knowledge about the science of how alcohol affects young teens; and they may also find it to be a valuable resource to share with parents.