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How drinking at home can impact your teen's view of substance use: Mom Minute Monday

There's already a stereotype about moms drinking wine. With a more casual attitude about drinking as a way to cope, there's concern that this can impact our kids.

CLEVELAND — Since the COVID-19 pandemic more than a year ago, alcohol sales have skyrocketed. Being home more than ever and dealing with the stress of the unknown, led to more night caps and a lot of virtual happy hours.

This Mom Minute Monday, 3News’ Maureen Kyle talked to Dr. Kim Bell with the Hanna Perkins Center for Child Development. She explains her concerns about why drinking more at home can lead to an increased risk for substance abuse, especially in teens.

“The statistic that's worried me the most with that age, is the rate of overdose that has gone up really high," Dr. Bell says.

While Dr. Bell says she knows this point probably won’t be a popular one, we need to be careful of the example we set at home.

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“There's sort of this moms and wine kind of go together, and we have to be careful with our teenager," Dr. Bell says. "Because they are lonely, they are bored and pretty soon when they go out into the world, they're going to have an opportunity to self-medicate. We have to be really careful with substance use in our homes and how we have modeled it as a way of coping.”

Dr. Bell says if you have used alcohol as a way to cope during the pandemic, even talking about it jokingly, you should take a close look at your teenagers.

“Be super careful about how you talk about the use of alcohol as a coping mechanism for our feelings.” 

So what can we do at home? Experts say it's important to be a role model. When drinking at home, be mindful of how much you drink. Also, don't involve kids in adult behaviors -- even something as simple as getting you a beer or pouring you a glass of wine.

Another tip is to watch how you talk about drinking and framing it as a way to manage stress. Even if it's something you do indulge in from time to time, also let your child see you take a walk or practice deep breathing as stress relief.