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2019 Letters to the editor stock

While Alcohol Responsibility Month is a good time to talk to your child about underage drinking, it should not be a one-time discussion.

Research is clear that parents are the greatest influence over a youth’s decision regarding drinking or not drinking. Talking to your son or daughter early and often about alcohol is critical, and these conversations are making a difference. According to the annual Monitoring the Future survey funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, binge drinking among 12th grade students is at historic lows, down 55 percent over the past two decades.

Even if parents believe their teens are tuning them out, it’s important for them to keep up the dialogue. The fact is teens are listening, and they’re making better decisions.

Benjamin Nordstrom, M.D., executive director Responsibility.org

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Editor

Marc Chase is a veteran investigative reporter, columnist and editor of more than two decades. He currently leads The Times news staff as local news editor. He can be reached at 219-933-3327.