WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA)--Mothers Against Drunk Driving released some startling new statistics about where teenagers are getting their alcohol.
26% of all high school drinkers say they get their alcohol from a parent or family member.
The latest research also reveals that parents are the #1 influence over their children's decisions about drinking and that parental discussions about the perils of alcohol are critical.
"I feel dead inside. I can't believe that he's gone," said Carrie Hoover. She knows the gut-wrenching pain of losing a child. Her son Johnny was among three young people killed in a drunk driving crash in Olney last May.
"It's unimaginable pain to lose your child," said Hoover.
"Kids are dying way too young but something can be done. And it starts with parents," said Jan Withers of MADD.
In fact, new research from Penn State reveals that 3 out of 4 teenagers say their parents are the leading influence over whether they drink.
"Unlike many of the problems that our country faces, such as cancer and diabetes, this is a problem that can be stopped today. Right now," said Dr. Robert Turrisi, a Penn State University researcher.
On that front, MADD has teamed up with Nationwide Insurance to produce the 'Power of Parents' program, using a research-based handbook and free 30-minute parent workshops like this one at Suburban Hospital.
MADD is promoting Saturday, April 21st a day to discuss the dangers of drinking, or getting in a car with someone who has. Straight talk now could spare your family the anguish the Hoovers face every day.
"I think about him every minute of every day," said Hoover. "My beautiful baby boy. He was so strong and happy and full of life and he's just gone."
If you haven't already spoken with your kids about drinking, MADD's parent handbooks are an excellent resource. They're filled with the latest research, are non-judgmental and simply offer the facts. You can download them here: http://www.madd.org/underage-drinking/the-power-of-parents/
Written by Andrea McCarren
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