MALT campaign targets parents to prevent youth drug use |

MALT campaign targets parents to prevent youth drug use

— A new campaign to prevent teen drug use in Northwest Colorado is specifically targeting parents.

The Grand Futures Prevention Coalition this spring launched MALT, which asks parents to Model good behavior, offer Alternatives, Lock up alcohol and drugs and Talk to your kids often.

The campaign is aimed at harnessing the influencing power that parents have over the decisions teens make, according to Megan McCord, Routt County director of Grand Futures.

“They are the number one influencing factor in their kids’ lives,” McCord said. “They have that power.”

To model good behavior, the campaign asks parents to never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs and to drink responsibly using National Institute on Drug Abuse low-risk consumption guidelines of no more than three drinks per day or seven drinks per week for women, and no more than four drinks per day or 14 drinks per week for men.

At parties, parents should offer plenty of non-alcoholic beverages and consider that if alcohol is offered at every party, kids will begin to think that alcohol is needed to have a party.

The campaign also reminds parents that providing alcohol to minors is illegal, and in Steamboat Springs, so is hosting a party where underage drinking happens.

To offer alternatives, parents could consider the 40 Developmental Assets model that lists assets, which when part of a child’s life, make them less likely to try risky behaviors like underage drug use. Some assets include service to others, youth programs and connection with a faith-based community.

The MALT campaign also asks parents to monitor and secure alcohol by locking it up and keeping track of bottles and the amounts in them.

Lastly, the campaign encourages parents to talk to their children about drug use beginning in fourth or fifth grade and to continue the conversation four or five times per year.

“I don’t really know if parents get how impactful they are,” McCord said. “That one talk with their kids about this stuff is really going to have an impact.”

The campaign’s launch includes a new website,, and a media push that includes a new Facebook page, newspaper and radio advertisements, information in school newsletters and pens with the MALT information that will be handed out at Yampa Valley Bank.

The new website lists detailed information about each of the campaign’s goals, an informational video and numerous resources and information for parents.

Founded in 1990, Grand Futures Prevention Coalition is a nonprofit organization that works to keep children alcohol and drug free by reducing accessibility to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs and educating youth and parents about the harmful effects of such substances. Grand Futures operates in Routt, Moffat and Grand counties.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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