AUSTIN, Texas, April 22 (UPI) -- Eight-five percent of parents in Texas say their teenage children are not interested in drinking, a Mothers Against Drunk Driving Texas survey indicates.
However, U.S. surveys by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration indicate one-third of eighth-graders admitted to drinking, and 1-in-7 sophomores and 1-in-4 seniors said they have been drunk in the last 30 days.
Nearly half of the Texas parents said they were worried about the possibility of their children drinking before turning 21, and one-quarter said they didn't know what to do.
"These statistics demonstrate a need for more parents to talk more often with their teen-aged children about the dangers of underage drinking," Myra Constable, a single mother and widow due to a drunk driving crash, said in a statement.
MADD encourages parents to talk to their teenage children about the dangers and consequences of underage drinking as well as the harmful and deadly impact of drinking and driving at any age. For example, kids who drink alcohol before age 21 are more likely to face problems in school, be assaulted, abuse alcohol later in life, drown or fall, or die in a car crash.
"Spring, in particular, is a time of year when teens are attending proms, graduation parties and other events where alcohol may be a temptation," Karen Housewright, director of field relations for MADD. "The best thing parents can do is have a candid conversation with their teenagers about why they should not drink and how the consequences of underage drinking can last a lifetime."
No survey details were provided.