The simple act of eating dinner with your children can decrease the likelihood of children abusing drugs and alcohol. The Denver Office of Drug Strategy is encouraging families and community organizations to participate in Family Day on September 26 by hosting their own Family Day Dinner and committing to eating dinner as a family and using the time to talk.
The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University launched "Family Day - A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children" in 2001. The momentum from this event is turning into a national movement to inform parents that the engagement fostered during frequent family dinners is an effective tool to help keep youth substance free.
On average, more than one-third of Denver youth report drinking alcohol before the age of 13. Additionally, Denver youth report higher rates of binge drinking compared to the rest of Colorado, according to the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey conducted in 2008.
“Alcohol and drug abuse among Denver youth is a growing concern in our community, and we need families to know there are things they can do every day to protect their kids. Small things like eating dinner with your children and talking to them can ultimately help children make good decisions about choosing not to use drugs and alcohol. It’s critical for parents to get involved and be there for their kids – even if it’s as simple as having breakfast or dinner with their child,” Vanessa Fenley, DODS Director said.
The Denver Office of Drug Strategy is sponsoring 20 organizations around Denver that plan to recognize Family Day by hosting activities and celebrations over the course of the week, including the Family Crisis Center (FCC) at Denver Human Services. Other organizations include:
· Fun City & GRASP
· Addiction Research & Treatment Services
· Johnson Elementary Beacon Center
· Ellis Elementary
· Justice Initiative for Drug Endangered Families
· Place Bridge Academy Beacon Center
· Servicios de la Raza
· Bennie E. Goodwin After School Academic Program
· Crossroads of the Rockies
· Aurora Mental Health Center
· Force Elementary Beacon Center
· Cole Arts & Science Academy Beacon Center
· Westwoods Residents Assoc.
· YMCA Metro Denver
· Quigg Newton
· Re:vision International
· Denver Broncos Boys & Girls Club
· Denver Public Art University Collaboration
· Rocky Mountain Communities
To learn more about Family Day, get tips on hosting more family dinners or tools that parents can utilize to talk to their children about drugs and alcohol, visit www.denvergov.org/Drug_Strategies or call 720.944.2839.