April is Alcohol Awareness Month



 1.   Alcoholism is a disease recognized by the American Medical Association since 1957. Alcoholism has no cure, but Alcoholism can be treated. (www.examiner.com/article/ten-facts-about-alcohol-awareness-month)


2.      More than half of all adults have a family history of alcoholism or problem drinking and more than 7 million children live in a household where at least one parent is dependent on or has abused alcohol. (www.ncadd.org/about-addiction/alcohol/facts-about-alcohol)


3.      While many feel stimulated by the first drink and – unfortunately – a few get aggressive after too many, alcohol not a stimulant, it is a central nervous system depressant drug. (www.examiner.com/article/ten-facts-about-alcohol-awareness-month)


4.     Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is the leading known cause of preventable developmental, cognitive, and behavioral birth defects in a newborn. A single alcohol binge during pregnancy has been associated with an increased risk for learning disabilities. (www.ncadd.org/about-addiction/faq/frequently-asked-questions-and-facts-about-alcohol-and-drugs)


5.      Up to 40% of all hospital beds in the United States (except for those being used by maternity and intensive care patients) are being used to treat health conditions that are related to alcohol consumption. (www.ncadd.org/about-addiction/alcohol/facts-about-alcohol)




Parents Who Host, Lose the Most: Don't be a party to teenage drinking is a program for communities that have experienced challenges with parent hosted underage drinking parties. This program provides all of us - educators, parents, law enforcement, prevention professionals and other community leaders with tools to become educated about the legal, health, and safety issues associated with allowing any one under the age of 21 to consume alcohol.  Below are some resources for parents.





Information for Parents to Educate Kids


    This link to CommonSenseMedia provides information and helpful videos about how to educate children about alchohol, drugs, and smoking.

                                                     Click here for CommonSenseMedia page


                                                                                                            New Data on Opioid Abuse  


Click here for latest data on opioid abuse


NIDA For Teens

With a teen-influenced design offering easier access, the new site features

access to teen drug abuse information from anywhere through your tablet or mobile device; new science-based information on emerging drugs, such as bath salts and K2/Spice; and sections for parents and educators to quickly find information most helpful to them

Best of all, teens and educators themselves helped to design the site by giving feedback at every stage of the process.

Visit the new NIDA for Teens Web site.




911 Lifeline Legislation Amendment:  Call for Help and Save a Friend

In March of 2012, the Ridgewood Village Council amended Ordinance #3065 prohibiting underage drinking on private property to include the Lifeline Exemption, “911: Lifeline Legislation.”  This amendment grants immunity to a minor who contacts 9-1-1 to report an alcohol-related medical emergency.  The minor must be the first one to report the incident, provide his/her name, and he/she must stay at the scene and cooperate with the police and the medical emergency team when they arrive.  The law allows up to four people; the minor who is ill, the person who calls 9-1-1, and up to two others assisting him/her; to receive immunity.

The amendment says the following:

"An underage person and one or two other persons shall be immune from prosecution under this ordinance if:

  1. one of the underage persons called 9-1-1 and reported that another underage person was in need of medical assistance due to alcohol consumption;
  2. the underage person who called 9-1-1 and, if applicable, one or two other persons acting in concert with the underage person who called 9-1-1 provided each of their names to the 9-1-1 operator;
  3. The underage person was the first to make the 9-1-1 report; and
  4. The underage person and, if applicable one or two other persons acting in concert with the underage person who made the 9-1-1 call remained on the scene with the person under the legal age in need of medical assistance until assistance arrived and cooperated with medical assistance and law enforcement personnel on the scene.

The underage person who received medical assistance also shall be immune from prosecution under this ordinance."

The “911: Lifeline Legislation” was signed into law by Governor Jon Corzine in 2009.  The bill is similar to legislation enacted in Colorado in 2005.  The purpose of the law is to reduce the possibility of teen deaths resulting from binge drinking and alcohol poisoning

This is not a “get out of jail free card”, but a way to encourage teens to recognize the signs of alcohol poisoning and to take action to save a life.  Under state law underage drinking or possession of alcohol on public property is a disorderly persons offense and carries a sentence of up to 6 months in jail, a fine of $1000 or both.  In Ridgewood and in over 200 other NJ communities, it is a disorderly persons offense for underage persons to possess and/or drink alcohol on private property.*  Violators will be fined and may have their driver’s license suspended and may require the minor to perform community service.  Knowing the law, teens might fear calling for help for a friend when a medical emergency presents itself due to alcohol consumption.  It is important that teens know about this recently passed amendment.

*Note:  minors are exempt from the prohibition of alcohol possession and/or consumption on private property if done in connection with a religious ceremony, in the presence of and with permission of a parent or guardian, or in the course of employment for a person or entity who is licensed under New Jersey law.




"Parenting and Family Guide” for Programs in Bergen County

Click here to download a copy of upcoming programs, special events, support groups, and much more from the Center for Alcohol and Drug Resources




Join the Safe Homes Parents Network

The Ridgewood Municipal Alliance invites parents with children in middle school and high school to join the Safe Homes Parents Network.  In October of 2011, 230 parents gathered in the Campus Center at Ridgewood High School to discuss solutions to curbing underage drinking.  One suggestion made was to establish a Safe Homes Network.  Safe Homes is a national effort that encourages parents in a community to build networks.  Parents who join are committed to addressing the issue of underage drinking in their community and pledge the following:

  • I will not serve nor will I knowingly allow anyone under the legal drinking age to consume alcohol in my home or on my property.
  • I will not knowingly allow parties or gatherings for teens in my home without proper, responsible adult supervision.
  • I will communicate with other parents, and I welcome calls or emails to “check up” when youth may be visiting my home.

Joining the Safe Homes Parents Network provides parents with an opportunity to come together and communicate with one another.  Being part of the Network can help alleviate the feeling that you are alone in the belief that students in middle school and high school should not drink alcohol.  When parents sign the Safe Homes pledge, they let their children and other parents know that underage drinking is not allowed in their home.

Signing up to join the Safe Homes Network is simple.  Click on the Safe Homes tab at right.  Take the Pledge and complete the registration by providing your child’s last name, first initial, school and grade.  Parents’ names and email addresses are requested so they can be notified when the Safe Homes Parents Network directory is available.  No telephone numbers or email addresses will be shared online or in the directory.  Parents will simply use their children’s school directories for the contact information of other parents who have signed on to be part of the Safe Homes Parents Network.

Parents working together can limit the amount of underage drinking in our Village.  Join the Safe Homes Parents Network today.








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