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Parent's Matter Campaign Asks you to Rethink Your Drinking

Studies show alcohol and marijuana use is up significantly for parents and teens during the pandemic and local health units have some tips to help you rethink your drinking.

OXFORD COUNTY - Southwestern Public Health is teaming up with health units from across the region asking people to rethink your drinking. 

Specifically they are focusing on the Parent's Matter Campaign that provides practical everyday strategies known to delay or prevent teen alcohol use. 

 The six strategies in the campaign are:
- Knowing what is going on in your child’s life
- Developing open and regular communication
- Setting expectations and consequences together
- Being a positive role model
- Building a close and caring relationship
- Not providing alcohol or other drugs

Health Promoter Jessica Austin says this is a timely campaign. 

"We know that parents are feeling the impact of COVID-19, but so are youth. Canadian studies have shown that youth are very concerned about the COVID-19 crisis and have been affected by social distancing from friends." 

COVID-related stress has been linked to more depression and loneliness. Austin says this has been especially true for teens who spend a lot of time on social medial.

"Fears, depression, and concerns for how social distancing may affect their reputation with peers, have led some teens to increase drinking when alone, and others to drink more through virtual or in-person meet ups with friends." 

Recent data from McMaster University shows 37.5% of caregivers and parents have been drinking more during the pandemic and a whopping 87.5% of those who use cannabis are using it more. 

The numbers are also high for teens with both alcohol and cannabis use increased post-COVID-19 with 49.3% engaging in solitary use, 31.6% consuming with peers via technology, and 23.6% consuming with peers face-to-face.

For more information and tips, visit www.rethinkyourdrinking.ca/parents and follow Rethink Your Drinking on Facebook. 

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