The 2018 National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Alcohol Awareness Month theme — “Changing Attitudes: It’s not a ‘rite of passage.’ ” — reminds us how we often accept and forgive underage drinking as a “rite of passage.”

We can simply sit back and hope kids will “get through it,” or – – – – we can change our attitude and take an active role in learning about alcohol and drugs and help young people do the same.

For example:

DID YOU KNOW – – – teen drinking puts our kids at greater risk for developing alcohol-related problems later in life.

DID YOU KNOW – – –  Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive disease, genetically predisposed and fatal if untreated. OR is this just your family “secret?”

From experience, this is a deadly family secret and one you may regret keeping.

DID YOU KNOW – – –  some kids may drink alone because they are bored or depressed; and

DID YOU KNOW – – – many kids drink because of social pressure, to “fit in” with their peers; and

DID YOU KNOW – – – excessive drinking is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths among underage youth each year; and

DID YOU KNOW – – – Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States; and

DID YOU KNOW – – – more than 1.6 million young people report driving under the influence of alcohol in the past year; and

DID YOU KNOW – – – young people who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at age 21; and

DID YOU KNOW – – – drinking by persons under the age of 21 is linked to 189,000 emergency room visits; and

DID YOU KNOW – – – the typical American will see 100,000 beer commercials before he or she turns 18; and

DID YOU KNOW – – – kids who drink are more likely to be victims of violent crime, to be involved in alcohol-related traffic crashes, and to have serious school-related problems; and

DID YOU KNOW – – – even though most teenagers know that you should not drink and drive, nearly three out of ten still drive or accept rides from drivers who have been drinking; and

DID YOU KNOW – – – a supportive family environment is associated with lowered rates of alcohol use for adolescents; and

DID YOU KNOW – – –kids who have conversations with their parents and learn a lot about the dangers of alcohol and drug use are 50 percent less likely to use alcohol and drugs than those who don’t have such conversations; and one more important fact – – –

Point your kids in the right direction—when they’re old they won’t be lost (Proverbs 22:6 MSG).