Thanksgiving Eve Is Biggest Drinking Day For Young People

RADAR and Mam'k Schools Advise Extra Care by Parents

by Debbie Manetta, Mamaroneck Schools

(November 20, 2008) The Powder Puff football game between Mamaroneck High School junior and senior girls on Wednesday, November 26 is an annual tradition experienced by hundreds of high school students and alums the day before Thanksgiving, just after school has let out for the holiday. It has also become known as a time when joyous students throw their hands up in the air and shout in unison, “Let’s Party!”

“We know from experience that students have all kinds of parties planned at various homes throughout Larchmont and Mamaroneck immediately following the Powder Puff game,” said Janet Buchbinder, coordinator of Larchmont-Mamaroneck RADAR (Responsible Action: A Drug and Alcohol Resource) and an active member of the coalition for more than 12 years. “While kids are partying, adults are often busy preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday, and this is actually when we need to be the most vigilant of all.”

According to statistics from the National Center on Addictions & Substance Abuse, more young people drink on the day before Thanksgiving than on any other day of the year. It’s the day young people are home from college and want to party with old friends.

“Our level of patrols will be heightened during the holiday season,” said Town of Mamaroneck Detective Bob Reynolds. “Any underage drinking while driving is a violation of the Zero Tolerance Law, which means that teens can be charged with driving while intoxicated after any consumption of alcohol.”

RADAR encourages parents to be proactive and help their teens plan safe, alcohol- and drug-free get-togethers with their friends. The Mamaroneck School District -- which has worked in tandem with RADAR since its inception -- has stepped up its efforts this year to play a greater role in helping to educate the community about the dangers of underage drinking and drug use and also is encouraging parents to be extra alert during the holiday season.

“We are pleased to work as partners with RADAR in their efforts to educate our children and parents on the issues surrounding drug and alcohol use,” said Mamaroneck Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul R. Fried. “We’re all aware of the many challenges teens today face and want to do everything possible to help keep them from being at risk and provide for their well-being.”

Parents Who Host Lose The Most

Parents Who Host Lose the Most
Parents Who Host, Lose The Most" was developed by and is a project of Drug-Free Action Alliance.

In providing the following tips, RADAR reminds parents that it is against the law to provide alcohol to minors or to allow your home to be used for a party, where minors are consuming alcohol. Additionally, RADAR encourages people to report underage drinking parties or establishments known to sell alcohol to minors by calling the Tri-Municipality Hotline anonymously at (914) 381-6103. By reporting underage drinking, a person can play a role in preventing serious and potentially tragic incidents.

District parents are invited to participate in free "Staying Connected with Your Teen" workshops, run by the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Community Counseling Center and sponsored by RADAR. The next workshops are scheduled for January. For more information, contact Robbie Seidman at 698-7549 or Thanks to a grant from the Mamaroneck Schools Foundation, additional workshops will be conducted in Spanish.

Tips from RADAR
If your teenager wants to have a party at your house:
  • Discuss any concerns you may have with your child ahead of time.

  • Make it clear to guests that alcohol and any other drugs are not allowed.

  • Frequently monitor the party area.

  • Lock your liquor cabinet.

  • Hide or throw out all prescription medications.

  • Define area of the party and do not allow partygoers in other areas (e.g. bedrooms, garage etc.)

  • Restrict entry and exit areas to keep an eye on what is brought in.

  • Set a beginning and end time to the party.

  • Put valuables and breakable objects in a secure off limits area.

  • Be prepared to call parents if a guest brings alcohol or other drugs to the party or if he or she appears to be under the influence. (Always ask yourself: If it were my child, what would I want the parent of this party to do? Call me, etc.)

If your teenager wants to go out on in the evening:
  • Plan to check-in with your teen throughout the night and when they get home from a night out.

  • Have a “code” phrase that your child can say to you over the telephone that translates into “come get me, there are things going on that make me uncomfortable.” For instance, your child might ask, “what time is granny coming tomorrow?” Do not push your teen to tell you why they want to come home.

  • When you go out, let your teen know where you will be and how they can reach you.

  • Talk to your child about the dangers of drinking. Send clear and consistent “no use” messages. Also discuss the dangers of drinking and driving and alcohol poisoning.