COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.

Get the latest information from CDC ( | NIH Resources | NIDA Resources

PowerTalk 21: A Good Time to Talk With Your Parents About Alcohol

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
April 18, 2016
The NIDA Blog Team

PowerTalk 21. April 21st is the national day to talk with your kids and teens about alcohol. Win an Amazon Echo, Kindle Fire HD or $50 gift card! 4 ways to enter! Image of person reading. Download our new pocket guide. Question mark. Take a power of paren

Don’t be surprised if your parents talk with you about alcohol this month.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is celebrating the fifth year of PowerTalk 21, a national day for parents and kids to begin conversations about alcohol. As part of the program—which includes a 15-minute virtual workshop for parents, prize drawings, and a new download—MADD is encouraging parents to specifically discuss the risks of riding with a drinking driver.

Why is this a big deal?

Over 4,300 people under age 21 die each year from alcohol-related car crashes, homicides, suicides, alcohol poisoning, and other injuries related to drinking. Even if your parents have discussed why you should NEVER drink and drive, it’s also important to know how dangerous it is to ride with a drinking driver.

What the study says

MADD worked with Dr. Robert Turrisi, who has done a lot of research about teens and alcohol, to examine why teens ride with drinking drivers. The results were startling. Dr. Turrisi’s study found that the person with the largest impact on a teen’s decision whether to ride with a drinking driver is not a friend—not even a best friend.

Instead, it’s mom and dad. If teens see their parents ride with a drinking driver, they are more likely to do the same.

Think of it this way: You’ve been watching and learning from your parents since the moment you were born. You learned how to speak, interact with others, and more by examining what your parents did. So it makes sense that you also learn about alcohol by watching them.

How to talk to your parents

Your parents may bring up this issue with you. Try not to change the subject or be defensive. Remember, they’re bringing it up to keep you safe, not to ruin your good time.

If your parents don’t start the conversation, you can start it. (Yes, really!) Talk to them about how you see them interact with alcohol and what it makes you think about.

Pick a time when it’s just you and your parents to discuss it. Be open and honest. This conversation is too important to let embarrassment or anxiety hold you back.

Feel free to point your parents to MADD’s PowerTalk 21 website for more information. PowerTalk 21 officially takes place April 18 through 22. But staying safe is something you should think about year-round.

Categories: Archived
Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


This is a very nice topic, the rate @ which our teens are going about abusing the use of alcohol, is something all parent should come together and tackle, otherwise the end result would be deadly.
this is wack bruh
I've already had the talk but I think all people should talk to their parents about the talk at least every year
Why is this a big deal?

Research has shown the important role that parents play in helping prevent drug use in their children. Brain development continues into a person's twenties—a time that encompasses many important developmental and social changes in a young person’s life. Early prevention is key.

Hi I'm [name removed] I need your help i need to help my loved ones who is smoking drugs

Drug use can have devastating consequences, and you are courageous to want to help your loved ones. Figuring out what to do when a loved one is having trouble with drugs or alcohol can be tricky. You want to help, but you might not know how to bring it up. Here are some tips: Listen without making judgments. Suggest that they talk to an adult they trust—a counselor, relative, or doctor. Share scientific information about what drugs can do to a person. Get the latest information on how drugs affect the brain and body here: Once your loved one understands how drugs affect their brain, body, and life, it might open their eyes.