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home : opinions : opinions August 20, 2014


4/22/2014 10:28:00 AM
Guest column: Communication key when dealing with teen drinking

The Williams Alliance wants to remind parents and members of the community during this upcoming Williams High School prom and graduation season, that we can make a difference to decrease the risks to our students associated with underage drinking and substance abuse, during this time of year when our youth are more vulnerable and at risk.

As we enter this season of celebration, let's keep our eyes focused on the great potential of those lives, but let us honor the lives that have been lost in the past, by ensuring those lives were not lost in vain.

Statistics and analysis from the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission (ACJC) show that underage drinking continues to be a significant concern across the state of Arizona, and Williams in particular (see www.azcjc.gov/ for more information). Those statistics however, also show that proactive and combined efforts across the state have reduced underage drinking, and have increased and improved youth awareness and perceptions about the negative aspects of underage drinking and substance abuse.

Preventative measures and programs implemented in recent years such as the Draw The Line campaign, have also increased community awareness and reduced risk factors amongst our youth. Ultimately, the ability to increase awareness of the inherent risks of underage drinking and reduce those risks our youth face, particularly at this time of year, may be with each of us.

Parents, educators, community leaders, peers and others have one of the most effective tools at their disposal to make a significant difference in the decision making of our youth, which is simply, communication. Talking with your teenager, student, youth group members, and friends about underage drinking can have a dramatic impact on their decisions in upcoming weeks.

Add accountability to the effectiveness of speaking with our youth about underage drinking, combined with the creation of boundaries and parameters, and we will go a long ways towards increasing the chances of a safe prom and graduation season.

There is a helpful tool at http://www.samhsa.gov/underagedrinking/. It takes about 10-15 minutes and simulates a conversation with a teenager. You choose what you say next and receive feedback when needed. Try it out! There are also several articles at www.drugfree.org/prevent on talking to your teen (and any age child) about drugs and alcohol. Please also share these resources with parents you know.

Please remember your words are powerful and can make a difference!

Rob Krombeen

Williams Alliance



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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Article comment by: Janice Luke

Excellent article! So very true! Let's keep our young people informed and updated and show them that we love them and care about them! Mostly because we love them and care, but also because they are our future citizens and will be making important decisions for all of us.

Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Article comment by: Virgin Mary Jane

or... you can just get them to medicate. medical marijuana is much safer. praise virgin mary jane.



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