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Parents, don’t help your babies grow up to be drunkards

Don’t help your babies grow up to be drunkards.

It’s a message that some parents should take to heart, especially in hard-drinking Bay County, where teens apparently have easy access to alcohol.

Because it’s sometimes provided by parents.

In fact, wrong-headed adults are hosting parties at their houses for kids to consume alcohol in a “safe” and supervised environment.

If the youths are under 21 years old, it’s illegal.

Period.

And it is dangerous.

That’s what one mother found out when she thought she had a teen drinking party under control at her house in 2007. She cut off some kids from drinking more booze, and collected all cups and bottles at midnight.

Yet, one teen later that night ended up at a hospital emergency room, nearly dying from alcohol poisoning — the result of drinking more than his body could handle.

That’s binge drinking at its scariest. It’s only one of the potential dangers when teens wrap their hands around alcoholic drinks.

Intoxicated teens die in traffic crashes.

They can wander off, with tragic consequences if they step into traffic or pass out far from any help.

Finally, what started as youthful hijinks can end in a lifetime of alcohol dependency.

Goldie J. Wood, director of the Neighborhood Resource Center, a substance abuse prevention agency, and leader of the Bay County Prevention Network Coalition, says kids under 13 who drink regularly can become addicted in five or six weeks; after 13, alcohol addiction can set in after five or six months of regular drinking.

“Underage drinking: Not a minor problem” is the message that the Coalition and other agencies are sending Bay County youths and adults.

Beyond the serious danger that drinking presents for teens, underage consumption of alcohol carries consequences for adults who make it possible.

The woman who thought she was doing the right thing by supervising drinking teens at her house spent 45 days in jail and lost her job when she pleaded guilty in court to criminal charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, furnishing alcohol to minors and allowing minors to consume alcohol on her premises.

“We prosecute, absolutely. And we prosecute vigorously,” in such cases, says Bay County Prosecutor Kurt C. Asbury.

Good.

Yet, despite the dangers and the consequences, some adults insist that teens will drink alcohol regardless, so they’d rather the kids did it with their friends at home.

Some may rationalize further, that parents did it for them and nobody got hurt, back in the day

We wonder if those parents are calling the folks of their child’s friends, to let them know the party at their house will be serving kids alcohol.

Because there’s another hazard that adults run when they buy and serve alcohol to underage drinkers. If a teen is injured as a result, his parents may have grounds for lawsuit against the party host, for illegally serving their child an intoxicant.

It’s all fun and games, isn’t it, until someone gets hurt.

Imprisonment, loss of a job, a possible lawsuit — they just aren’t worth running the risk of hosting an underage drinking party.

And for what? So that they can be a friend to their sons and daughters? So the kids are ushered into the hard-drinking culture of a town that drinks too often and too much?

Look: Parents are not supposed to be their children’s buddies. They should be their guides and their teachers, so that their children have the skills to live long, successful and happy lives.

And early introduction to alcohol provides none of that.

Instead, it only feeds their propensity to binge, and get bombed.

Wood said her research among teens shows that most drink to get drunk. Otherwise, the teens say, what’s the point of drinking alcohol?

And some parents think they can safely host that kind of thirst?

Sober up, folks, and face the facts.

It’s wrong to help your own children get drunk; it’s an outrage that some adults are helping other parent’s children toward a lifetime of alcoholism.

Yes, this is a town of drinkers.

But it’s a tradition, an addiction, that we must not pass down to our children, and to other people’s children.

source: Bay City Times

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