All posts by allinmountainbrook

Is Underage Drinking the Greatest Risk to Teenagers & Youth?

by Dr. Dale Wisely, All In Mountain Brook

The Big Picture 

Consider the leading causes of death among teenagers: Motor vehicle crashes, suicide, homicide. Close behind these are other unintentional fatal injuries, which are often related to things that happen to youth when they are together in recreational settings (drownings, fall from high places.) And, as we know, far too many teenagers die from unintentional overdoses of drugs and/or alcohol.

Consider now how many of these leading causes of death are often related to mental and behavioral health and/or substance abuse. Motor vehicle crashes are often caused by drinking and driving, being distracted by peers in the vehicle, speeding, and reckless driving. Suicide is obviously related to mental health and, often, substance abuse. Teenagers who are murdered are often caught up in gangs or drug activity. Every major cause of death (and severe injury) among teenagers is highly influenced by mental & behavioral health, including involvement in alcohol and drug abuse.

These top causes account for the overwhelming majority of deaths of young people, who only uncommonly die of diseases. Motor vehicle crashes and substance abuse-related incidents also account for many of the disabling injuries, legal problems, and other associated catastrophic events in the lives of youth.

For good reasons, we have heard much lately about the opioid crisis and about vaping. We have lost and are losing far too many citizens to opioids. Concerns about vaping, which have been articulated by the medical community for years, have become more acute because of cases of severe lung injury, some of which have killed the victims.

With that said, I claim that if we were to take the long and broad view of substance abuse on Earth and ask ourselves what substance of abuse has caused the most death, damage, and misery, it would not be opioids, or vaping, or heroin, or marijuana, or LSD. Not Ecstasy. Not cocaine. Not magic mushrooms. It would be a competition between two legal products: cigarettes and alcohol.

Alcohol abuse is so pervasive and is implicated in so many diseases, injuries, crimes, economic losses, and social problems it is almost impossible to measure. Look at this page for an attempt to do so.

Throughout the USA, it is a crime for a person under the age of 21 to drink alcohol. Yet, it is widely tolerated by parents, who often see underage drinking as inevitable. Some parents passively permit it. Others actively facilitate underage drinking, at the risk of criminal penalties and civil liability, by misguided attempts at “supervised” drinking.

Teenagers should not drink. At all. Parents ought to do everything they reasonably can to prevent it. Parents should be clear and firm in their insistence that their teenagers not drink alcohol. If and when parents learn that their teenagers drink, they should treat as either a serious disciplinary issue or as a potential health problem.

Making the Case

Let’s look at some of the facts. These are taken from the Centers for Disease Control and other official sources.

Underage drinking is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths among youth each year. In 2013, there were about 120,000 emergency rooms visits by persons aged 12 to 21 for injuries and other conditions linked to alcohol.

Here are some of the other consequences of underage drinking. Youth who drink alcohol are more likely to experience—

  • school problems, such as higher absence and poor or failing grades.
  • social problems, such as fighting and lack of participation in youth activities.
  • legal problems, such as arrest for driving or physically hurting someone while drunk.
  • unwanted, unplanned, coerced, and unprotected sexual activity.
  • disruption of normal growth and sexual development.
  • higher risk for suicide and homicide.
  • alcohol-related car crashes and other unintentional injuries, such as burns, falls, and drowning.
  • abuse of other drugs. (Alcohol may be the true “gateway” drug.)
  • changes in brain development that may have life-long effects.
  • death by alcohol poisoning.

Here are some factors that may increase the risk that a teen will use alcohol.
      • Significant social transitions such as graduating to middle or high school;
      • Getting a driver’s license;
      • A history of social and emotional problems;
      • Depression and other serious emotional problems;
      • A family history of alcoholism; and
      • Contact with peers involved in troubling activities.

Source: Julie Baumgardner, “First Things First: Preventing underage drinking starts with dialogue,” Chatanooga Times Free Press, (October 28, 2018


Some of us disapprove of drinking during the high school years and then just accept that college students are inevitably going to drink, even though drinking is still illegal for the majority of college students. The pervasiveness of college-age drinking comes at a terrible price.

  • Nearly 2000 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle crashes.
  • 700,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.
  • 100,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.
  • Roughly 20 percent of college students meet the criteria for alcohol use disorders.
  • About 1 in 4 college students report academic consequences from drinking, including missing class, falling behind in class, doing poorly on exams or papers, and getting lower grades overall.
  • For those under 21 who drink, more than 90% of the alcohol is consumed during episodes of binge drinking. On average, underage drinkers consume more drinks per drinking occasion than adult drinkers.

This last one—binge drinking—is a critical point. When teenagers are drinkers, they are almost always binge drinkers. Binge drinking, defined as 5 drinks in a single drinking session, always leads to intoxication, which often leads to terrible things happening.

What Can Parents Do?

Parents should first consider the impact of the wide social acceptability of adult drinking on their attitudes about underage drinking.  Let’s look at some myths & facts.

Myth: Underage drinking is inevitable, so we just need to try to make it safer.
Fact: For many years, surveys indicate that more Mountain Brook teenagers report underage drinking than the national averages. But as is true of the nation, underage drinking in Mountain Brook has actually declined in recent years. However, particularly in the 11th and 12th grades, most students report some use of alcohol.

Myth: As long as they drink responsibly, underage drinking is probably okay.
Fact:  Most underage drinkers are binge-drinking which, by definition is irresponsible.

MythSince I know my kid is going to drink in college, I want them to learn to drink—to practice drinking—under my supervision. That will get them prepared for college drinking.
Facts: (a) It is NOT inevitable that all high school students will drink. A substantial number do not. It is not even inevitable that college students will drink. Many do not. (b) The best data we have indicates that letting teenagers drink alcohol under parental supervision may lead to higher drinking rates, and more alcohol-related problems than a ‘zero tolerance’ approach. (Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, May 2011). Bottom line: There is NO evidence that being allowed to drink in high school reduces problem drinking in college. The reverse seems to be true. Finally (c) parents who host “supervised” events where teenagers drink are breaking the law AND are subject to civil lawsuits if something bad happens to a teenager during or after such an event.

Here are ways you can prevent / discourage underage drinking:

  1. Stay actively involved in your children’s lives. Cultivate a positive relationship. Seek out conversation.
  2. Know where your children are and what they are doing. Make knowing their friends a priority.
  3. Resist the idea that your teenager cannot have a social life without drinking.
  4. Set and enforce clear standards, including standards about alcohol use. Consistently and proactively, communicate those expectations.
  5. Get help if you think you have an alcohol-related problem or any other person in your household does.
  6. If you keep alcohol in your home, do not make it easily accessible to others.
  7. While there is nothing wrong with adult social drinking, consider what message you send by your patterns of drinking. Do you ALWAYS have alcohol at social gatherings? (Message: Alcohol is necessary when people gather socially.) Do you drink when stressed? (Message: Drinking is a good way to cope with stress.)
  8. Don’t allow underage drinking in your home or on vacation.  Do not provide alcohol for anyone who is under legal drinking age. Do not passively allow underage social drinking by failing to provide rules and supervision when teenagers are gathered under your supervision.

 

Myths and Truths: A Guide to Your Teenager

Tuesday, March 19th 6:30 pm-7:30 pm

Mountain Brook Board of Education

register here

Understanding a teenager is like solving a puzzle when you don’t know what the picture looks like. Join Dr. Dale Wisely in exploring truth and myths about teenagers, their brains, and how deeper understanding can lead to lower risk to our youth, and better relationships with our teenagers. 

Dale Wisely, Ph.D.
Dale Wisely, Ph.D.

Dale Wisely, Ph.D. is Director of Family Life at Prince of Peace Catholic Parish & School. Prior to joining Prince of Peace, he was Director of Student Services and Community Education at Mountain Brook Schools for 12 years, where he continues to serve as a consultant. He has been a child and adolescent clinical psychologist for 37 years and was a founding member of the board of directors of All In Mountain Brook. Dr. Wisely is a lecturer at Spring Hill College. He speaks frequently to lay and professional audiences on family life, mental health, social media, and related matters.

register here

Upcoming talks: “Positive Parenting: Creating a Discipline Plan that Works”

Our own Dr. Dale Wisely will present “Positive Parenting: Creating a Discipline Plan that Works.” He will offer two sessions, the first for parents of children age K-6 and the second for parents of teenagers.

Parents, Grades K-6

Monday March 4th
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Mountain Brook Board of Education Building

Register for this free program here.


Parents of Teenagers

Monday March 7th
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Mountain Brook Board of Education Building

Register for this free program here.


Dale Wisely Ph.D. is Director of Family Life at Prince of Peace Catholic Church & School in Hoover, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham. Prior to joining Prince of Peace, he was Director of Student Services and Community Education at Mountain Brook Schools for 12 years, where he continues to serve as a consultant. He has been a child and adolescent clinical psychologist for 36 years.

Dr. Wisely’s M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in clinical psychology are from the University of Memphis. He served his clinical internship at West Virginia University School of Medicine, Department of Behavioral Medicine in Charleston. He also earned a Master’s in Theological Studies from Spring Hill College, a Jesuit college in Mobile, Alabama. He was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama and, for 14 years, the senior psychologist at the Vaughan Clinic, now Children’s Behavioral Health at Children’s of Alabama. He practiced clinical psychology including assessment, psychotherapy, and pediatric psychology in Birmingham from 1983 to 2006. Dr. Wisely has taught and held adjunct faculty appointments at the University of Alabama, the University of Alabama-Birmingham, and Spring Hill College. He teaches in the area of the intersection of psychology and pastoral work for the Certificate in Spiritual Direction at Spring Hill College.

Dale Wisely is a past president of the Birmingham Regional Association of Licensed Psychologists. He is a past President of the Alabama Psychological Association, who’s Distinguished Service to Professional Psychology award he received twice. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Crisis Center, the Jefferson County Children’s Policy Cooperative, Alabama Children First, All In Mountain Brook, and the Alabama Child Death Review System. Dr. Wisely writes and operates a public service website, Parenting Teen Drivers, which includes a free parent-teen contract which has been in wide use nationally for 15 years. He is a popular adult educator and speaker on family matters, parenting, and provides workshops and other professional development to a range of professional and public audiences.

ALL IN PARENTING ELEMENTARY CONFERENCE: Tuesday, FEBRUARY 26

All In Mountain Brook is hosting the annual Mountain Brook Elementary Parenting Conference at Cherokee Bend Elementary. Please make plans to join us on Tuesday, February 26th, 5:45-7:30 PM, for a program designed for parents of students in grades K through 3. We hope you will join us as we continue to empower parents with knowledge about challenging topics that are facing our children. All sessions will be offered to all parents. We hope you will join us as continue the parenting journey together!

Tuesday, Feb. 26th,
Grades K-3

Cherokee Bend Elementary School
5:45 pm-7:30 pm

Program:

How to Raise Kids in a Tech World (Dr. Andrea Hendricks)

How to Protect Kids in a Tech World (Tom Lampkin)

Addressing Big Issues with Small Kids-Having Difficult Conversations (Panel: Anna Carlisle, Dr. Dan Marullo, Alexis Sapp)

REGISTER FOR THIS FREE PROGRAM BY CLICKING HERE.

Presenters/Panelists:

Andrea HendricksPh.D. is a clinical psychologist who practices in Mountain Brook. She works with adults, adolescents, and couples through a range of issues, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, pain management, and weight management. She enjoys working with adolescents dealing with life/school stress, body image issues, and decision-making.

Tom Lamkin is the owner of uBreakifix (formerly Phone Restore) that will fix any phone, iPad, or computer. Tom began a new company, HomeTec360, based supporting parents in setting parental controls and other smart home integration. Tom is the parent of a 3rd and 6th grader at Crestline Elementary. He is passionate about protecting our kids from the dangers of social media

Mrs. Anna Carlisle is the counselor at Mountain Brook Elementary serving kindergarten through sixth grade. She has been an elementary school counselor since 2007. She is passionate about teaching students skills necessary to cope with life events to help them become successful adults who can attack life’s challenges and turn them into opportunities for growth. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Berry College, a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling from the University of Montevallo, as well as an Educational Specialists Degree in School Counseling from the University of West Alabama.

Dan Marullo, Ph.D. is a pediatric psychologist at UAB / Childrens of Alabama. Dr. Marullo earned his bachelors degree at the University of Texas at Austin, and his Ph.D. at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His clinical internship was at the University of Texas Medical Branch, where he also served a fellowship at the Shriners Burns Institute in Galveston, Texas. At Children’s of Alabama, he practices Clinical/Pediatric Psychology and trained in pediatric neuropsychology. Dr. Marullo is a past President of the Alabama Psychological Association.

Alexis Sapp is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a National Board Certified Counselor. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Master’s degree in Community Agency Counseling from the University of Montevallo. Her experience includes serving teens in a home facility, operating as a contractual counselor with DHR, and nine years working as a professional school counselor. Alexis is currently the owner of Alabama Child and Adolescent Counseling, LLC. Her mission is to empower children and their families to overcome personal obstacles, such as peer relations, self-esteem, anxiety and perfectionism; and to improve their quality of life.   

REGISTER FOR THIS FREE PROGRAM BY CLICKING HERE.

Dr. Wisely’s PARENTING THE TEENAGE DRIVER: Feb 21

Motor vehicle crashes remain a top cause of death among teenagers–and is the leading direct cause of death in this population. For 20 years, clinical psychologist Dr. Dale Wisely has presented this workshop for parents, sharing information on the factors that increase the risk of motor vehicle crashes among youth, along with practical steps parents can take the reduce the ultimate tragedy of losing one’s child to a car accident.

Dale Wisely, Ph.D.

These are 90-minute talks. On Thursday, February 21st. Dr. Wisely will offer both a morning and evening session. The morning session will be from 9:00 to 10:30 AM and the evening session will be 6:30-8:00 PM. Both workshops will be at the Board of Education building in Crestline. For more information, grammerj@mtnbrook.k12.al.us.

To register for this free event, go to this link http://bit.ly/teendriving2019

Dr. Wisely’s ADHD 101 Series (3 parts) begins January 24, 2019

Dr. Wisely will present his 3-part ADHD workshop for parents on Wednesdays, January 24, January 31, and February 7 at the Mountain Brook Board of Education building at 32 Vine Street.  The sessions will begin at 6:30 PM and conclude at 8:00 PM

This program is co-sponsored by ALL IN MOUNTAIN BROOK and Mountain Brook Schools.

“There is nothing more important to a child with ADHD than to have adults in their lives who understand the disorder,” says Dr. Wisely.  “It is as important as any form of treatment. When adults understand the disorder, the quality of the ADHD child’s life can improve dramatically. Helping us understanding this complex disorder is the goal of this series.

Here is the schedule.

  • Session I (Thursday, January 24: Understanding the Disorders
  • Session II (Thursday, January 31) : Treatments & Interventions
  • Session III (Thursday, February 1): Making Things Better at Home & School

This free program is intended for parents who want a deeper understanding of the disorder. But, the series has been attended by educators, pediatricians, nurses, and social workers.  All are welcome.

To register, visit click here.

For more information, contact grammerj@mtnbrook.k12.al.us

Dale Wisely Ph.D. is Director of Family Life at Prince of Peace Catholic Church & School in Hoover, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham. Prior to joining Prince of Peace, he was Director of Student Services and Community Education at Mountain Brook Schools (Alabama) for 12 years, where he continues to serve as a consultant. He has been a child and adolescent clinical psychologist for 36 years.

Dr. Wisely’s M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in clinical psychology are from the University of Memphis. He served his clinical internship at West Virginia University School of Medicine, Department of Behavioral Medicine in Charleston. He also earned a Master’s in Theological Studies from Spring Hill College, a Jesuit college in Mobile, Alabama. He was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama and, for 14 years, the senior psychologist at the Vaughan Clinic, now Children’s Behavioral Health at Children’s of Alabama. He practiced clinical psychology including assessment, psychotherapy, and pediatric psychology in Birmingham from 1983 to 2006 before joining Mountain Brook Schools. Dr. Wisely has taught and held adjunct faculty appointments at the University of Alabama, the University of Alabama-Birmingham, and Spring Hill College. He teaches in the area of the intersection of psychology and pastoral work for the Certificate in Spiritual Direction at Spring Hill College and, after 20 years on the teaching team for that program, is currently enrolled as a student, earning his certification in Spiritual Direction.

Dale Wisely is a past president of the Birmingham Regional Association of Licensed Psychologists. He is a past President of the Alabama Psychological Association, who’s Distinguished Service to Professional Psychology award he received twice. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Crisis Center, the Jefferson County Children’s Policy Cooperative, Alabama Children First, All In Mountain Brook, and the Alabama Child Death Review System. Dr. Wisely writes and operates a public service website, Parenting Teen Drivers, which includes a free parent-teen contract which has been in wide use nationally for more than 10 years. He is a popular adult educator and speaker on family matters, parenting, and provides workshops and other professional development to a range of professional and public audiences.

To register, visit click here.


ALL IN PARENTING 2019

Junior High/High School Edition

HIGH-RISK BEHAVIOR AND OUR YOUTH

January 10, 2019
5:30 PM – 7:45 PM
Mountain Brook High School

For the last few years, ALL IN MOUNTAIN BROOK has offered parenting conferences, one geared toward parents of teenagers and another for elementary parents. Previously, these conferences have been organized around breakout sessions, which required parents to choose from a menu of topics. This year, we are offering a program for everyone in attendance, with a series of speakers and topics and no breakout sessions. All parents are welcome and we especially encourage parents of students grades 6-12 to attend!

Please Register!

>Just give us your name & email address here.<


Speakers and Topics

Never Stop Fighting for Your Family

Dr. Dicky Barlow, Superintendent, Mountain Brook Schools

Mental Health and Our Youth

Dale Wisely, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist

Vaping: What Parents Need to Know

Susan Walley, M.D., Department of Pediatrics, UAB

Update on Underage Drinking & Marijuana Use

Abbey McManus, Bradford Health Services

Raising Teenagers: Legal Complications

Panel: Judge K. C. Hairston, Attorney Greg Foster, School Resource Officer Richard Knecht, & Judge Turner D. Williams

Please Register!

>Just give us your name & email address here.<


Our Speakers

Dr. Richard “Dicky” Barlow

is superintendent of Mountain Brook Schools. Dr. Barlow received his B.S. and Certification in Science Education and Masters of Education in Administration and Supervision at Georgia State University. He earned his Ed.S. in Educational Administration at the University of Montevallo and his doctorate at Samford University. 

 

Susan Walley, M.D.

is a pediatrician and hospitalist at UAB Department of Pediatrics/Children’s Hospital. She has extensive experience in caring for patients with asthma and other pulmonary disorders. Dr. Walley is an enthusiastic educator regarding the use of e-cigarettes, vaping devices, and cigarette smoking and the health implications for children.

 

 

 

Dale Wisely, Ph.D.

is Director of Family Life at Prince of Peace Catholic Parish and School and is the former Director of Student Services at Mountain Brook Schools. Dr. Wisely has been a child & adolescent psychologist for 36 years and is a founder of All In Mountain Brook.

 

 

 

Judge K.C. Hairston 

lives in Mountain Brook with his wife and four children.  He serves as a Municipal Judge for Birmingham and Mountain Brook. He has presented to both parents and students his popular All In Mountain Brook panel discussions on the legal aspects of teenage driving and substance use (DUI, designated drivers, Uber, traffic violations, house parties, texting while driving, etc.) 

 

 

Judge Turner D. Williams

received his J.D. at University of Alabama School of Law and practices law at Burr & Forman.  He serves as a Municipal Judge for the city of Mountain Brook.

 

 

 

 

 

Greg Foster

is a local attorney specializing in representing individuals and families that have experienced injury, death or property damage.  Greg and his wife have a daughter who attends Mountain Brook High School.

 

 

 

 

 

Officer Richard Knecht

is a School Resource Officer at Mountain Brook Schools, who has implemented a number of initiatives to build positive relationships within our schools–a key to maintaining safe schools. He began his career as a police officer in 2000 in the Bessemer and transferred to Mountain Brook in 2003. He graduated from UAB and has earned many teaching certifications through the department.  He is the father of five children.

 

 

Abbey McManus

serves as Community Representative for Bradford Health Services. She spearheads local outreach efforts in the Birmingham area including educating the community on substance-related issues and working with families that have loved ones struggling with addiction. She grew up in Birmingham and is an Auburn graduate. She lives in Homewood and is passionate about bettering the Birmingham community to be safer and healthier. 

 

 


Please Register!

>Just give us your name & email address here.<

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

2018-2019 Events!

Here’s our calendar of events for the academic year.  Check back for more!

TopicDateTimeLocationNote
The Last Year Home & The First Year Away: A Talk for Families with High School SeniorsSept 11, 20186:30 PMBoard of Education Building, CrestlineDr. Wisely brings us his popular annual talk.
Taste of Mountain BrookSunday, Sept 16, 201811:30-1:30 PMCrestline Village near City HallOur major fundraiser! Please support us. http://www.tasteofmountainbrook.com/
Parenting the Teenage DriverSept 20, 20189:00 AM-10:30 AMBoard of Education Building, Crestline
Parenting the Teenage DriverSept 20, 20186:30 PM-8:00 PMBoard of Education Building, Crestline
ADHD 101 (3-Part Series)Oct 3, 20189:00 AM-10:30 PMBoard of Education Building, Crestline
Oct 10, 20189:00 AM-10:30 PMBoard of Education Building, Crestline
Oct 17, 20189:00 AM-10:30 PMBoard of Education Building, Crestline
Mountain Brook High School's ALL IN ConferenceNov 6, 20188:00 AMMBHSStudents choose 3 talks about health, safety, and a range of topics
ALL IN PARENTING: Junior High/High School EditionNov 13, 20185:30 PMMBHS5th annual conference! Come hear great speakers.
ADHD 101 (3-part series)Jan 24, 20196:30-8:00 PMBoard of Education Building, Crestline
Jan 31, 20196:30-8:00 PMBoard of Education Building, Crestline
Feb 7, 20196:30-8:00 PMBoard of Education Building, Crestline
ALL IN PARENTING: Elementary EditionFeb 12, 20195:30Cherokee Bend Elementary3rd annual conference! Come hear great speakers.
Parenting the Teenage DriverFeb 21, 20199:00 AM-10:30 AMBoard of Education Building, Crestline
Parenting the Teenage DriverFeb 21, 20196:30 PM-8:00 PMBoard of Education Building, Crestline
Myths & Truths: A Guide to Your TeenagerMarch 19, 20196:30 PM-7:30 PMBoard of Education Building, Crestline