Underage drinking is a big problem in the U.S.
According to the NIAAA, over 5,000 youths die every year from alcohol-related car crashes, homicides, suicides, alcohol poisoning and other injuries. Not so fun fact: fatal crashes involving alcohol are twice as common in teens than with people 21 and over.
One parent’s letter to her son about underage drinking is going viral today, and for good reason. The letter, written by Huffington Post writer Kathy Radigan, was posted only two days ago but has already been read and shared by thousands.
Read it for yourself and see why:
The legal drinking age in this country is 21. Please know that dad and I will never allow you to have alcohol in our house or in our presence until you reach that age. Please also know that no good has ever come from a group of teenagers drinking. It's a recipe for all kinds of disasters.
If you should choose to drink, you'll not only be breaking the rules of our house, you'll be breaking the law.
If you get stopped for driving under the influence, or the police get called to a party where you have been drinking, you may be in a position where we can't protect you.
Always call me and your dad. ALWAYS. No matter what you have done.
Don't ever follow up a bad choice with one that's worse just because you're afraid of disappointing us or making us angry.
Will we be happy? Of course not. But we would much rather get you and any friend who wants to come with you home safely, than get a call saying you are NEVER coming home.
Let me be clear that the fact that we love you and will stand by you does not in any way mean we will stand by while you do things that you know aren't good for you.
There are those who will tell you that your parents are being unreasonable and totally unrealistic. Some may tell you that you are a teenager and it's a rite of passage to get drunk. They may even regale you with stories of their own youthful mistakes.
Listen to your own heart and trust your gut. Also know there is nothing cool about waking up in your own vomit, or having a DUI before you are 18.
Your father and I are so proud of the man you are becoming. We love you so much that we don't care if you hate us. That's our gift to you -- we are your parents, not your friends.