What's My Role?

When it comes to preventing underage drinking, everyone has a role to play. Project Extra Mile is working with individuals, organizations and communities across the state to address this significant public health issue affecting youth and their families. Coalitions are organizing at the local, state and national levels and there is a growing commitment to protecting young people from the harms associated with alcohol use.Our communities get better and become safer for young people when we get involved, step forward and find the courage to speak. Your community needs you to stand in the gap for its children. 

Please join us. 


As a parent:

  • Set a good example for your children regarding your own alcohol use.
  • Talk with other parents about ways to send a consistent, clear message that underage alcohol use is NOT acceptable behavior or a "rite of passage."
  • Set high expectations for your child's school success.
  • Create clear rules and boundaries for your child while monitoring their whereabouts.
  • Encourage positive family communications.
  • Make sure you are at home for all of your child's parties and be certain no alcohol or other drugs are present.
  • Talk with the parents of your child's friends to be certain that alcohol is not available at their home.
  • Know your child's friends and their parents.
  • Get involved in your community's efforts to prevent underage drinking.

As a young person:

  • Make a decision not to drink, and show your peers you can lead an alcohol-free life.
  • Support law enforcement agencies in their efforts to address underage drinking.
  • Encourage your school to implement and consistently enforce its alcohol policies.
  • Use your voice! Write letters to the editor, talk to your school administration or e-mail your elected officials on underage drinking issues.
  • Get involved with Project Extra Mile!

As a concerned citizen:

  • Support law enforcement agencies in their efforts to address underage drinking.
  • Support educators and others providing positive experiences and opportunities for youth.
  • Investigate ways to prevent youth access to alcohol.
  • Encourage collaboration among public and private schools, community businesses,
    government, law enforcement and others to develop and enforce policies and prevention programs related to underage drinking.
  • Find out what educational programs and policies are in place to prevent underage drinking.
  • Pay attention and get involved in local liquor licensing issues. They ultimately affect the landscape of your neighborhood and the communities in which we raise our children.

As a policymaker:

  • Know the city, county and state regulations to restrict commercial and non-commercial availability of alcohol to youth. Ensure that they are effectively enforced.
  • Support law enforcement agencies in their efforts to address underage drinking.
  • Promote collaboration among educators, businesses, government and law enforcement agencies to develop and enforce policies and prevention programs related to underage drinking.
  • Learn more about effective, research-based policies to prevent underage drinking and youth access to alcohol.

As an educator:

  • Implement and consistently enforce school alcohol policies.
  • Educate staff to communicate to students and parents that underage drinking is unacceptable.
  • Inform staff about the dangers of underage drinking and encourage them to report potential parties.
  • Add media literacy and advocacy education programs to your curriculum.
  • Assess student drinking to determine the extent of the problem.
  • Find out what factors may be contributing to underage drinking in your school and community (e.g., easy access to alcohol, peer pressure, adults' failure to address the issue).
  • Develop an active partnership with families. Educate students and parents about underage drinking with credible speakers and materials not associated with the alcohol industry.

As a business owner/manager:

  • Implement a written policy concerning the use of alcohol by your employees.
  • Identify specific workplace programs offered to employees and families that address alcohol use and prevention.
  • If you are an alcohol retailer, develop clear policies to prevent alcohol sales to minors. In addition, train employees regularly on how to verify age and refuse sales to minors and intoxicated persons. Conduct periodic internal compliance checks. Work to prevent third party transactions of alcohol in the parking lot of your establishment. Commend employees for preventing sales to minors.
  • Support community efforts to prevent underage drinking.
  • Support schools and agencies providing positive experiences and opportunities for youth.

As a healthcare provider:

  • Be alert to signs of underage drinking during routine physical exams, office visits and at times of medical emergencies.
  • Talk to parents and youth about the need to prevent underage alcohol use.
  • Use your knowledge and expertise about the dangers of alcohol to support community education and prevention programs.
  • Promote and distribute educational literature in public healthcare settings.

As a religious leader:

  • Integrate alcohol issues into the ongoing religious education of your young people.
  • Address the question, "is alcohol affecting the quality of family life?" through sermons and study groups.
  • Challenge your church to hold activities, fundraisers, etc. WITHOUT serving alcohol.
  • Insert information about prevention programs in your church's bulletins and newsletters.
  • Allow use of your facilities for alternative youth and family activities, substance abuse prevention education sessions, mentoring programs, parent training and healthy lifestyle workshops.

Anyone wanting to learn more about underage drinking and become a community advocate, please contact Project Extra Mile at 402-963-9047 or via e-mail at info@projectextramile.org.