MADD Highlights New Data Showing that a Quarter of Teen Drinkers Get Alcohol from a Parent or Family Member

Apr 17, 2012, 10:00 ET from Mothers Against Drunk Driving

--Second Annual Day for Parents to Talk with Teens about Alcohol is April 21, 2012--

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In advance of the second annual PowerTalk 21® day, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is highlighting data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) showing that 26 percent of all teen drinkers (ages 12-17) get their alcohol from a parent or family member. This, coupled with research showing that three out of four kids say their parents are the leading influence on their decisions about drinking, illustrates the important role of parents in the fight against underage drinking. MADD and National Presenting Sponsor Nationwide Insurance encourage families to connect on PowerTalk 21 day — the national day on April 21st for parents to start talking with their kids about alcohol.



"Teen alcohol use kills 6,000 people each year, and one of the most important things a parent can do to keep their kids safe is to start an open dialogue about the dangers of underage drinking," said MADD National President Jan Withers, whose 15-year-old daughter was killed by an underage drunk driver 20 years ago this week. "PowerTalk 21 is the day to start this conversation, but it's also a day for parents and other adult role models to realize the power they have in preventing youth from drinking alcohol before age 21."

According to the most recent SAMHSA National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the following is a ranking of the top five ways teen drinkers get their alcohol:

  1. From a parent, guardian or family member who is 21 or older (26 percent)
  2. From someone 21 or older who is not related to the teen (25 percent)
  3. From someone under 21 who is not related to the teen (22 percent)
  4. Took it from home (10 percent)
  5. Took it from someone else's home (5 percent)

"This data shows that underage drinking prevention is not only a problem for our youth. It's an adult problem too. More than half of teens who drink are getting their alcohol from adults," said Bill Windsor, Nationwide Insurance Associate Vice President of Consumer Safety. "That's why Nationwide is partnering with MADD to highlight the importance of parental involvement in keeping the next generation safe from the dangers of underage drinking."

The Power of Parents™ handbook provides parents and guardians with the tools and resources to have the sometimes difficult, but potentially lifesaving conversation about alcohol with their kids on PowerTalk 21 day and throughout the year. Developed with Pennsylvania State University's Dr. Robert Turrisi, the handbook is based on his more than two decades of underage drinking research, which has been shown to significantly reduce underage drinking behaviors, even in households with below average communication.

"As part of The Leadership To Keep Children Alcohol Free Foundation, I'm proud to be joined by Governors' spouses from around the nation in recognizing MADD's PowerTalk 21 day as an important opportunity to start intentional and ongoing conversations with our kids about alcohol," said Sally Ganem, First Lady of Nebraska.

MADD Affiliates across the country are partnering with Governors' spouses, law enforcement, medical professionals, educators and community leaders to host free parent workshops leading up to PowerTalk 21 day. These 30-minute workshops are designed to inform parents and other parental figures about the importance of frequent, ongoing communication about alcohol, in order to reduce underage drinking and its associated dangers. To find a workshop near you, visit

Nationwide Insurance is the national presenting sponsor for Power of Parents and PowerTalk 21, and the GM Foundation is a national supporter. National program partners include:

  • National Football League (NFL)
  • National Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
  • Archie Comics
  • American Association of School Administrators (AASA)
  • National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)
  • National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO)
  • Partnership at
  • National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS)
  • Drug Free Action Alliance (DFAA)

For conversation starters, tips and to get the Power of Parents handbook, visit

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation's largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. With the help of those who want a safer future, MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end this danger on America's roads. PowerTalk 21® is the national day for parents to talk with their kids about alcohol, using the proven strategies of Power of Parents™ to reduce the risk of underage drinking. And as one of the largest victim services organizations in the U.S., MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every nine minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP.  Learn more at or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.

About Nationwide
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor's. The company provides customers a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto insurance, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, pet, life insurance, farm, commercial insurance, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and specialty health services. For more information, visit

Nationwide, the Nationwide frame mark, and On Your Side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

SOURCE Mothers Against Drunk Driving