DOÑA ANA COUNTY JOINS CASA IN CELEBRATING FAMILY DAY

DOÑA ANA COUNTY JOINS CASA IN CELEBRATING FAMILY DAY

Doña Ana County has joined forces with the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University to celebrate the sixth annual “Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children” on Sept. 25, 2006. On Tuesday, Sept. 12, the Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners issued a proclamation declaring Sept. 25 as Family Day across Doña Ana County.

Launched by CASA in 2001, Family Day is a growing national effort to prevent substance abuse in kids and teens by encouraging parental engagement and increased parent-child communication through the simple act of having dinner together frequently. CASA’s research has consistently shown that the more often children eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use illegal drugs. Family Day helps remind busy families of the invaluable role that parental involvement plays in steering children and teens away from cigarettes, drugs and alcohol.

“America's drug problem is not going to be solved in courtrooms or legislative hearing rooms by judges and politicians. It will be solved in living rooms and dining rooms and across kitchen tables – by parents and families,” says Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA’s chairman and president and the former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. “’Parent Power’ is the most potent and underutilized tool in preventing children from using substances or engaging in risky behavior.”

According to CASA’s The Importance of Family Dinners II report, teens who eat dinner with their families six to seven times a week are at almost half the risk of substance abuse as teens who eat dinner with their families twice a week or less. There are many other benefits to frequent family dinners. Teens who eat dinner with their families often are likelier to do well in school and less likely than other teens to have sex at young ages, get into fights or be suspended from school. This pattern holds true regardless of a teen’s sex, family structure or family socioeconomic level.

Doña Ana County Commission Chairwoman Dolores Saldaña-Caviness said Doña Ana County is committed to strengthening families and believes that celebrating Family Day is an important first step in helping to provide a substance free youth for children and teens.

For additional information on Family Day, visit www.CASAFamilyDay.org.