SW Parents Rise2023-09-07T00:02:49+00:00

Our community is giving our children their best chance at a healthy future!

Most parents and guardians in Sedro-Woolley are supporting their teens’ physical and mental health and do not allow them to drink alcohol. Our survey of 160 parents and guardians show…

Eighty percent

of Sedro-Woolley parents/guardians agree it is NEVER acceptable to give their high schooler alcohol.*

19% believe it’s acceptable under certain circumstances (e.g., with supervision or at special occasions), while1% believe it is generally acceptable.

*Defined as more than a sip.

Seventy-eight percent

of Sedro-Woolley parents/guardians have NEVER given their high schooler alcohol.

19% had once or twice, while 3% had three times or more.

*Defined as more than a sip.

of Sedro-Woolley parents/guardians say they would NEVER allow their high schooler to party with alcohol.

9% would under certain circumstances, while 1% would almost always.

Have questions about the survey or our research?
Check out these FAQs!

Why this matters

The research is clear — drinking alcohol as teens, even when supervised by a parent or responsible adult, is associated with:

  • Increased chances of developing anxiety and depression

  • Increased risk of binge drinking and alcohol abuse as a teen and later in life

Help us spread the good news!

In your conversations with other parents, spread the good news that most parents do not allow their teens to drink alcohol.

Download our social media images for Facebook and Instagram to share on your page.

Learn about ways to prevent underage alcohol use under “Resources”.

Request a poster to put up in your organization or place of work (see below).

Request Free Posters for Your Organization!

We provide 11″ x 17″ posters free of charge to interested organizations. Please choose one or more poster designs below and complete the order form.

Poster A

Poster B

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is Sedro-Woolley Parents RISE campaign?2021-04-30T20:18:17+00:00

Sedro-Woolley Parents RISE is a campaign for parents/guardians of high schoolers in Sedro-Woolley that aims to spread the good news that MOST parents/guardians are setting their teens up for a healthy future and do not allow them to drink alcohol. By strategically sharing this good news, we expect to grow these positive norms – and as a result, reduce underage drinking. 

What is the concern about underage drinking?2021-05-01T23:57:31+00:00

Alcohol affects teens differently than it does adults. Drinking alcohol as teens can have many negative impacts. Teen drinking can: 

  • Impair brain development. In fact, the earlier a teen starts drinking, the greater the risk for negative consequences (1).
  • Increase the risk of mental health problems such as depression (2) and anxiety disorders (3).
  • Negatively impact school performance (4).
  • Increase the risk of alcohol use disorders (such as addiction) later in life (5).

(Numbered citations can be found in the Resources section)

Isn’t it safer to teach my teen how to drink responsibly than tell them it’s not allowed and they do it behind my back?2021-05-02T00:05:59+00:00

The research is very clear – teens benefit from waiting as long as possible before they start drinking We also know that teens are less likely to drink when their parents/guardians regularly share their expectations that drinking is not allowed. A review of more than 20 studies found that when parents gave their teens permission to drink, they drank more frequently and in higher quantities when they weren’t at home (6).  In fact, the teens who were least likely to participate in heavy drinking had parents who had a combination of a warm parenting style and high non-use expectations (7).

(Numbered citations can be found in the Resources section)

But if I don’t teach my teens to drink now, won’t they go crazy in college?2021-05-02T00:04:59+00:00

Although there are always exceptions, most kids who don’t drink in high school become only light drinkers in college (8). Typically, the kids who are the heaviest drinkers in college began drinking at younger ages (such as early teens). In fact, people who start drinking at age 15 or younger more likely to binge drink and are 6 times more likely to become addicted to alcohol than those who began drinking at age 21 (9). The safest bet is to tell your teens that you care about them and because you care, you expect them not to drink alcohol while they are still teenagers.

(Numbered citations can be found in the Resources section) 

What’s the science behind these messages?2021-04-30T20:29:06+00:00

This campaign has been developed using the evidence-based model The Science of the Positive and Positive Community Norms developed by Dr. Jeffery Linkenbach of The Montana Institute. This model has been used successfully throughout the United States to reduce underage drinking, prevent child abuse and neglect, and improve traffic safety. To learn more, visit: https://www.montanainstitute.com/what-is-the-science-of-the-positive  

Who was included in the Sedro-Woolley Parents RISE survey?2021-04-30T20:32:03+00:00

This survey was available online in English and in Spanish. The survey was promoted broadly on social media, school emails, and through flyers for over 5 months. Overall, 254 people took the survey. For the campaign, we excluded surveys that did not complete required questions (I.e., consent) and surveys where the participant did not identify as being a parent/guardian of high schooler in Sedro-Woolley. After all exclusions, 163 surveys remained for inclusion in the campaign. Of the included respondents, 95% identified as White, 7% Hispanic/Latino, 5% Native American, and 2% Asian/Pacific Islander.  

Can we trust the numbers in the Sedro-Woolley Parents RISE survey?2021-05-02T00:03:12+00:00

Every study has limitations – and ours is no exception!  However, our numbers are very consistent with what we see reported by youth in the Washington State Healthy Youth Survey, trends in underage drinking, and a national study by the American Medical Association of parents of teens (10).  By looking at both these other studies and surveys, we feel confident that the numbers in our survey are close to the true numbers in Sedro-Woolley. 

(Numbered citations can be found in the Resources section)

Doesn’t everybody lie on surveys?2021-04-30T20:35:55+00:00

Although it’s true that, especially with behaviors that might be viewed as socially undesirable, misreporting can happen, however, this misreporting happens much less frequently when the survey is anonymous and can be conducted independently (as our survey is). Further, extensive survey research has shown that most people are actually quite truthful on surveys! By comparing this survey to other similar surveys and getting similar results (called triangulation), we also have more confidence that our results are close to the truth. So, although there is always a margin of error, we feel confident that the overall results provide us with an accurate indication of parental attitudes and behaviors. 

Does Sedro-Woolley RISE only focus on alcohol use?2021-04-30T20:40:33+00:00

Underage alcohol use is the number one substance of concern for Sedro-Woolley RISE because, although most high schoolers don’t use alcohol, it is still the most frequently used substance. However, RISE is also implementing strategies to address marijuana use, nicotine, and opioids. We also focus on primary prevention strategies such as parenting classes, and social-emotional learning.  To learn more about Sedro-Woolley RISE, visit our Facebook page at: Facebook.com/Sedro-WoolleyRISE  

Is your only strategy to address underage alcohol use this campaign (Sedro-Woolley Parents RISE)?2021-04-30T20:38:55+00:00

No! This campaign is just one part of a much larger strategy based on the Strategic Prevention Framework. Our coalition has developed a logic model that addresses a variety of risk and protective factors that may impact youth alcohol use. We also promote and sponsor pro-social activities and environmental strategies.  


Watch this video, recorded live on Facebook, to hear Dr. Kilmer (associate professor of Psychiatry from University of Washington), present about alcohol and cannabis use and the concerning relationship with mental health. Dr. Kilmer’s presentation begins at the 11:30 mark.  Also presented are the results and key findings from this survey. Survey results are discussed at the 46:11 mark.


Talk. They hear you. Check out this resource to help you start—and keep up—the conversation with your high schooler about your expectations not to drink alcohol as a teenager.

Citations referenced in the FAQ section:

(1) Squeglia, L. M., Jacobus, J., & Tapert, S. F. (2014). The effect of alcohol use on human adolescent brain structures and systems. Handbook of Clinical Neurology, 125, 501–510. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-444-62619-6.00028-8

(2) Ning, K., Gondek, D., Patalay, P., & Ploubidis, G. B. (2020). The association between early life mental health and alcohol use behaviours in adulthood: A systematic review. PLOS ONE, 15(2), e0228667. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0228667

(3) Deas-Nesmith, D., Brady, K. T., & Campbell, S. (1998). Comorbid Substance Use and Anxiety Disorders in Adolescents. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 20(2), 139–148. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1023074213806

(4) Crosnoe, R., Benner, A. D., & Schneider, B. (2012). Drinking, socioemotional functioning, and academic progress in secondary school. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 53(2), 150–164. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022146511433507

(5) Rehm J., Mathers C., Popova S., Thavorncharoensap M., Teerawattananon Y., Pata J. Lancet 2009; 373: 2223–2233.

(6) Kaynak, Ö., Winters, K. C., Cacciola, J., Kirby, K. C., & Arria, A. M. (2014). Providing alcohol for underage youth: What messages should we be sending parents?. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 75(4), 590-605. doi: 10.15288/jsad.2014.75.590

(7) Martínez-Loredo, V., Fernández-Artamendi, S., Weidberg, S., Pericot-Valverde, I., López Núñez, C., Fernández Hermida, J., & Secades-Villa, R. (2016). Parenting styles and alcohol use among adolescents: A longitudinal study. European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education, 6, 27–36. https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe6010003

(8) Heubeck, E. (2019, April 1). Think you’re keeping your teenage drinker safe? Think again. Washington Post. Accessed March 15, 2021. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2019/04/01/think-youre-keeping-your-teenage-drinker-safe-think-again/

(9) Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings. (2013.). 184. https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUHresultsPDFWHTML2013/Web/NSDUHresults2013.pdf


Contact Jill Sprouse
Email: Jill.Sprouse@UnitedGeneral.org

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