March 29, 2006
My thoughts on a sleepless night
I start by saying that my heart is heavy. I don't know where this saying came from or exactly what it means, but I know that I have a concern that will not leave me - the safety of our kids!
Our kids are drinking more alcohol at younger ages. They are using more drugs more frequently. And, they don't seem to understand the negative consequences associated with their behavior.
What about parents? How are they linked to this problem? I talk with parents about the problems of underage drinking and illegal substances and they share my concerns. I also hear about parents (both directly and indirectly) who allow their children to experiment with alcohol and marijuana.
What about mass marketing? Alcohol images permeate our culture. Television programming, teen magazines, sports events, the local gas stations, toys and clothes contain many messages that promote alcohol and drugs.
Why do we have these concerns? Why not let our kids have a good time and feel the buzz associated with illegal substances? Why have we made these things illegal? Why do we get all embroiled in these topics and quarrel with our children? On and on and on!
What can we do about it? Or, is this just the way it is and there is nothing we can do?
We will see change when the community adopts the idea that we can make a difference and the community shares in the responsibility for enforcing underage drinking laws.
Community includes - parents, merchants, law enforcement, government, and the media.
EVERYONE: Report illegal alcohol sales - Call 1-877-243-2543
ADULTS: Refuse to supply alcohol to underage youth
PARENTS: Store personal alcohol in locked cabinet - out of reach of youth
PARENTS – Talk with other parents to make sure that alcohol is not available at parties and events their youth will attend.
MERCHANTS – Develop comprehensive alcohol compliance programs with written policies, effective staff training, and staff supervision or monitoring.
Underage drinking is not a rite of passage. It’s illegal and it’s hurting our youth. Everyone can play a part in helping reduce youth access to alcohol. Underage drinking is an adult problem with youth consequences. What are you doing to help?
Posted by Jim Travis at March 29, 2006 5:07 PM