Jordan is the Director of Ethnic Media Engagement for the Department.
We’ve received a couple of comments from readers who are curious to know what our blog posts in Spanish say. Most entries are translations from the English. Every now and then, however, I write about topics that are of special concern to the Latino population, such as the one today.
According to a survey conducted in Massachusetts public schools, one in five Hispanic children between the ages of 12 and 14 reported regularly drinking alcohol and almost 40 percent admit to having tried alcohol at least once. Within this age group, Hispanic kids are much more likely to use alcohol than children of other races, although the numbers even out for high school aged children.
Alcohol use at an early age can impact the brain and has also been linked to both alcohol and drug abuse in adults. In order to delay the use of alcohol among youth, it is critical that open communication exist between parents and their children, access to alcohol inside and outside the home be restricted, and parents and retailers abide by the law. Remember, providing or selling alcohol to anyone under 21 is illegal.
To help guide these conversations, DPH has developed a series of materials—available in both English and Spanish—that contain helpful tips about how to talk to your children about drugs and alcohol and tips on how parents can prevent substance abuse at home.
For more information, contact the Massachusetts Substance Abuse Information and Education Helpline at 1-800-327-5050.
I hope you’ve found this entry helpful and that you will continue to send us your comments.