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Talking helps prevent youth alcohol use

November 19, 2015

When parents Keep Talking, they help teens make smart and sober choices

Research shows that ‘not everyone is doing it,’ and that the majority of Pierce County households have clear rules about alcohol use

TACOMA, Wash. –
The power of parenting is behind a new push to keep Pierce County teens from drinking alcohol. Keep Talking Pierce County is a new initiative that empowers parents to influence their children’s behavior through the art of simple—but regular—conversation.

The youth alcohol prevention campaign launches Nov. 23. Bus ads and posters are going up countywide to support parental efforts to have honest discussions with their children about the dangers alcohol. The campaign features local faces of parents and teens from Lakewood, Gig Harbor, Tacoma and Sumner. The Health Department’s youth alcohol prevention program developed the campaign in collaboration with community partners and parents.

“Parents have power,” said Tutrecia Baker, youth alcohol prevention coordinator. “What parents say and do can have a huge effect on what their children do when it comes to alcohol and drugs,” Baker said.

Research proves this. About 84% of Pierce County parents have clear rules about alcohol and other drugs, as reported in the 2014 Healthy Youth Survey. As a result, most local children don’t drink. Youth who avoid alcohol or other drugs are less likely to use as adults, and that can lead to a longer, healthier life.

But some children say as they got older, their parents stopped talking to them about alcohol and drugs. From the same Healthy Youth Survey, the percentage of children who say their parents didn’t talk to them about the dangers of alcohol increased from 23% in 8th grade to 40% in 12th grade. As children get older, the voices of their peers can become more influential to make unhealthy choices. That’s why Keep Talking Pierce County wants parents to do just that: keep talking to their children.

To learn more, visit the Keep Talking Pierce County website at and like the Facebook page at

Edie Jeffers, Communications Manager
(253) 798-2853, (253) 405-6822 (cell/text),
Steve Metcalf, Communications Specialist
(253) 798-6540, (253) 345-8238, (cell/text),

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