New website helps parents talk with kids about underage drinking

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- There are some messages that make you open both your eyes and ears a little more than usual.

And that is exactly what the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration wants when you see its new PSAs roll out on TV or visit its new website on the net.

"Parents are the most influential factor in a child's decision not to drink," said Regina Benjamin, the U.S. Surgeon General.

It is a campaign and conversation starter, putting resources in the hands of parents and targeted to kids as young as nine.

The website has several articles focused on bringing up the topic. And this summer, the site will include an interactive tool parents can use to weave through several scenarios when addressing drinking.

All of this at a time when underage drinking numbers are frightening. A new government survey shows 33% of 8th graders and 70% of 12th graders in the U.S. have tried alcohol, 65% of teens who drink say they get drunk in a typical month.

We showed the site to several parents and grandparents on Monday who gave it a quick approval.

"I think a lot of parents don't think it could happen at a younger age, but it is, a lot of homes have it available," said Michelle Jacobs, a parent.

"I guess when our kids were coming up I never really thought about anything like this, but even back then there was a danger and now the school and everyone is putting it out there," said Sue Bembinster, a grandparent.

To visit the website, click here.

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