Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems’ Prevention Department coordinates multiple community awareness campaigns each year. One of their most popular campaigns is the ‘Parents Who Host’ initiative. This campaign, which originates from the Prevention Action Alliance, focuses on educating adults about Pennsylvania’s underage drinking laws and the consequences of breaking those laws. Holcomb’s Prevention Department aims to reduce the number of parents who allow youth to use alcohol at parties and decrease youth access to alcohol. Holcomb’s Prevention Department is based out of Delaware County, PA but the department also coordinates this campaign in Chester County, PA.
In 2017, 29.1% of Delaware County 6th graders who drank alcohol got it from their parents, and 44.8% of Delaware County 8th graders who drank alcohol took it from their homes, according to the 2017 Pennsylvania Area Youth Survey.
Well-meaning parents often host parties for their teens and their teens’ friends thinking that it will be a safer environment, even if alcohol or other substances are present. In Pennsylvania, it is illegal and unsafe for anyone under the age of 21 to drink alcohol. Underage drinking is illegal, and as a parent, you cannot allow your underage children and their friends to possess or consume alcohol on your property, even with their parent’s permission. Parents can face criminal charges, civil liability, large fines, and even jail time for hosting underage drinking parties. Furthermore, you cannot knowingly allow a person under 21 to remain in your home or on your property while consuming or possessing alcohol.
Holcomb educates community members through multiple mediums: social media posts, press releases, educational flyers which hang in bathroom stalls or common areas of partner organizations, an online newsletter, bus shelter advertisements, small billboards, digital advertisements, and even a short movie theater preview commercial. In just this year, this campaign is projected to have more than 11,000,000 impressions on residents in Delaware and Chester counties!
The ‘Parents Who Host’ awareness campaign is one of Holcomb’s longest running, as it’s currently in its 5th year. While the road to awareness and change isn’t always easy, Holcomb’s Prevention Department is proud to stay the course and works to continuously educate the community about this particular campaign as well as a wide variety of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug awareness topics.
Don’t Be A Party to Teenage Drinking! To report underage drinking, call: 1-888-UNDER21
“Parents Who Host, Lose The Most: Don’t be a party to teenage drinking” is a registered trademark of Prevention Action Alliance. This project is coordinated by Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems through funding from the Delaware County Office of Behavioral Health, Division of Drug and Alcohol, and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.