To mark the second anniversary of PowerTalk 21 Day, First Lady Mary Pat Christie is joining Sally Ganem, First Lady of Nebraska, and other First Spouses across the nation in encouraging parents and caregivers to discuss the dangers of underage drinking and alcohol use with their teenagers. PowerTalk 21 was first established on April 21, 2011 by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in response to research showing that three out of four teenagers stated that their parents were the leading influence on their decisions about alcohol use. With the designation of April 21 as PowerTalk 21 Day, MADD and other alcohol awareness organizations are calling for parents to embrace their influential roles and to talk in-depth with their children and families about the dangers of underage alcohol use and the decisions they have to make regarding alcohol use.
“I encourage parents to talk to their children about the risks involved with underage drinking and substance abuse,” said First Lady Mary Pat Christie. “Governor Christie and I know firsthand how important it is to sit down as a family to discuss some of the issues that our children experience in their daily lives with friends and schoolmates. We are proud to recognize April 21, 2012 as PowerTalk 21 Day in New Jersey and will continue to promote alcohol awareness among teenagers and families, not just today, but every day.”
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, approximately 5,000 individuals under the age of 21 die every year as a result of activities involving underage drinking, including motor vehicle accidents, homicides and suicides. Research shows that alcohol use among teenagers is also linked to delays in cognitive developmental, poor academic performance and an increase in risky behaviors.
Governor Christie also issued a proclamation recognizing Saturday, April 21, 2012 as PowerTalk 21 Day in the State of New Jersey