Most Teens Don’t Drink Alcohol, According to Red Ribbon Week Survey by MADD and State Farm
MADD’s Power of You(th) program: Empowering teens with positive message; Challenging teens to enter video contest; Announcing nine outstanding teen influencers
DALLAS – A new survey of high school students shows that three out of four (77 percent) don’t drink alcohol. As part of Red Ribbon Week (October 21-25, 2013) — a nationally-observed week during which schools and communities help raise awareness about the dangers of drugs and alcohol among youth — Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) and State Farm® are highlighting this finding that most teens are making smart decisions about alcohol. State Farm is the National Presenting Sponsor of MADD’s Power of You(th) program, which empowers teens to resist peer pressure and influence other teens to not drink alcohol before age 21.
“As adults, we know how dangerous underage drinking is for our kids, but these new survey results show that teens are getting the message too,” said MADD National President Jan Withers. “MADD and State Farm are partnering to reinforce this positive message during Red Ribbon Week in an effort to influence the 23 percent of teens who do drink, to make smarter choices.”
According to the September 2013 survey of 695 high school students nationwide, the top five reasons why teens choose not to drink are:
- It’s illegal
- Effect on health
- Effect on grades
- Parents don’t approve
- Don’t want to be like others who drink
In addition, over half of the teens surveyed said that they’d be less likely to be friends with, or date, someone who drinks underage.
“It is inspiring to see a majority of teens making safe and smart decisions about underage drinking,” said Lewis Pryor, Assistant Vice President of External Communications for State Farm. “State Farm is pleased to partner with MADD on the Power of You(th) program, which empowers teens to influence their peers in a positive way about the dangers and risks associated with teen alcohol use.”
While these survey results provide some positive news, the reality is that 4,700 people still die each year as a result of underage drinking — more than all other drugs combined. That’s why MADD created the Power of You(th)program to empower teens to avoid alcohol before age 21, in part by helping to promote a positive social norm.
During Red Ribbon Week, MADD and State Farm are encouraging teens to create a 15-second Instagram video that answers the question: “If you don’t drink today, what could your tomorrow be?” This Power of You(th) National Teen Video Contest is open for entries at www.madd.org/youthvideo through December 20, 2013, and the grand prize winner will receive $1,500. Plus, the school with the most entries will also receive $1,500.
In addition, MADD and State Farm are announcing a group of nine remarkable teens from across the country who make up the newest Power of You(th) National Teen Influencer Group, including:
- Dakota Baker, 9th grade, C.A. Gray Junior High School, Norman Park, GA
- Kassidy Nycole Brown, 11th grade, Lufkin High School, Lufkin, TX
- Rachel Budd, 12th grade, Chaparral High School, Temecula, CA
- Taylor Childers, 12th grade, Thomas Jefferson High School, Pittsburgh, PA
- Bailey Early, 10th grade, Plainfield High School, Plainfield, IL
- Josselyn Garcia, 12th grade, Norcross High School, Norcross, GA
- Sarah Haiken, 10th grade, Half Hollow Hills High School East, Melville, NY
- Madison Romeo, 10th grade, Lambert High School, Suwanee, GA
- Ashley Tyson, 12th grade, Hebron High School, Lewisville, TX
These teens were selected based on applications showing their dedication to underage drinking prevention in their communities. Over the next year, the group will provide input and direction on MADD’s efforts to reach teens.
One of their first activities as part of the National Teen Influencer Group is to encourage their schools to get involved in MADD’s Power of You(th) Red Ribbon Week activities. MADD is partnering with schools around the country to provide fun daily awareness activities and distribute the Power of You(th)teen booklet called The 411 on Teen Drinking.
For more information about the Power of You(th) program, video contest, National Teen Influencer Group or Red Ribbon Week activities, or to download the teen booklet, visit www.madd.org/powerofyouth.