Be A Jerk

Communities and Parents

Communities Can Be a Jerk

In Hawai‘i, the vast majority of teens who drink say they aren't buying it. They get their alcohol from adults who buy it for them or allow them to drink it at home or at parties.

That's why it's so important for adults to start being jerks and stop allowing kids to drink. Adults need to understand they are part of the solution to underage drinking.

Working together communities can:

  • Create and maintain alcohol-free, youth-friendly spaces and programs.
  • Publicize and enforce policies and laws that prohibit underage alcohol use.
  • Work with sponsors of community events to ensure they don’t promote underage drinking.
  • Promote the idea that underage alcohol use is a local problem that we can solve through action.
  • Organize groups committed to creating a local culture that disapproves of underage drinking, that actively works to prevent and reduce it, and that is dedicated to informing the public about the consequences of underage alcohol use.
  • Work to ensure that members of the community are aware of the latest research on teen alcohol use and the dire consequences of underage drinking for both young people who drink and other members of the community who suffer from its secondhand effects.
  • Help to change what the community considers to be "normal" in order to decrease the acceptability of underage drinking.
  • Focus as much attention on underage drinking as on tobacco and illegal drugs, making it clear that underage drinking is a community problem. Underage drinking is responsible for killing more teens than tobacco and all illegal drugs combined.

Parents & Caregivers Can Be a Jerk

As a parent, you have the power to help shape the world in which your kids are raised - at home, in their schools and in the community. Here are just a few things you can do:

  • Work with your kids to create and enforce your family's rules about alcohol.
  • Make sure your home is a safe place where kids and adults are confident that minors cannot get their hands on alcohol.
  • Partner with other parents in your child's network to make sure that parties and other social events do not expose kids to drinking in any way.
  • Support and reward the decision by young people NOT to drink. Working with other parents and parent groups, you can make changes on a school-wide and community-wide level.
  • Be a positive role model by not drinking excessively, by avoiding alcohol in high-risk situations (e.g., when driving a motor vehicle, while boating, and while operating machinery), and by seeking professional help for alcohol-related problems.