The CDC reports that alcohol is the most commonly used substance used by young people in the US. Here in Utah, one campaign is trying to combat this with a family oriented activity.
Parents Empowered is an underage drinking campaign that has partnered with the BLM, Juab County, and the Central Utah Prevention’s Jump Coalition to help get the conversation started with families about underage drinking.
Parents Empowered set up a scavenger hunt throughout some of the ATV trails in Little Sahara for families to find. Each stop included a different talking point for the parents to use to help guide the conversation.
Libby Hinckley, the Prevention Coordinator at Central Utah Counseling Center, said its important to have these conversations.
“We've all been cooped up inside it is time to get out. So we get to go out on the ATVs with the kids. As they find the messages. It's going to teach parents about bonding, how to start this conversation of alcohol. What are the rules about alcohol that they want to have for their kids and find out what their kids think about it,” said Hinckley.
Jeff Adams with the State Bureau of Investigations alcohol enforcement team joined the event to help spread the message about underage drinking.
“We're having these events down here really to give the parents an opportunity to have those discussions with their children about underage drinking," said Adams. "And, and really, parent disapproval is the number one reason why kids choose not to drink. And so this is a perfect time for the parents to have those conversations.”
Parent disapproval being the number one reason a child chooses not to drink was the overall message of the weekend and the campaign. Hinkley said they picked Little Sahara for this campaign because it’s one of the places kids say they drink.
“Our kids tell us they use alcohol up our canyons out of the desert down in the sand dunes. So we thought this is the place to get that message out where they are,” Hinkley said.
The scavenger hunt will go on throughout the summer.