SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Kevin Benedict, Gilad Parann-Nissany, Michael Bushong, Eric Brown

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Responsible Choices for Healthy, Happy Lives

MISSION, KS -- (Marketwired) -- 04/30/14 -- (Family Features) For many parents, beginning the discussion of teen alcohol use can be a difficult conversation to have, yet, one that is essential to family safety.

With movies and popular music encouraging the use of alcohol on a seemingly daily basis, it's no wonder that teens are often pressured into dangerous behavior. But communicating about alcohol use is more important than ever before. According to a recent report, young people who start drinking before the age of 15 are five times more likely to develop alcohol dependence later in life than those who begin drinking at age 21 or older. While these statistics are certainly startling for families across America, another study found that 75 percent of 16 year olds do not drink alcohol. With the help of people like you, many groups are working to make a positive change and increase this number.

Raising awareness
In an effort to encourage teens to say no to underage drinking, the not-for-profit group, Responsibility.org, has launched the iDECIDE campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of underage drinking.

This year, 16-year-old actress, singer, dancer and model, Bella Thorne, is the spokesperson for the iDECIDE campaign. The star of the wildly popular Disney Channel series "Shake It Up," Thorne also co-stars in the upcoming Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore comedy "Blended," arriving in theaters in May. An accomplished singer, Thorne's first solo single "TTYLXOX," has sold more than 300,000 singles to date and is rapidly climbing the Billboard 100 charts.

"Like me, teens are faced with so many decisions every day and I am here to remind you to always make smart and healthy choices," said Thorne. "Which includes saying 'no' to underage drinking."

Join the social movement
Social media makes getting involved and spreading the word to family and friends easier than ever. Responsibility.org encourages teens to start a dialogue on Twitter and other social media platforms about advancing alcohol responsibility with the goal of building awareness for iDECIDE.

To join in on the movement, check out some of Thorne's helpful tips below:

  • Tweet #AlcoholAwarenessMonth or #responsibility on your twitter page and post on your Facebook page with the proper tags.
  • Change your profile picture to the iDECIDE campaign logo or the Foundation of Advancing Alcohol Responsibility logo to show your support.
  • Tweet and post on Facebook what smart decisions you have made on that day.
  • Beyond Twitter, start a conversation as a family on how you all can help each other make smart decisions together.

For more information on how you can support this movement, visit www.bellaidecide.com or www.responsibility.org.

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