There's a tacit agreement in Blaine County between kids, parents, and cops: we'll just sort of look the other way about underage drinking. The package stores contribute to the problem.
Right now it could be seen as an invisible sign at the entrance to our Valley that says: Underage drinking is OK here – just don’t get caught and “soft drug” use will be winked at.
A grass roots dialogue begins on youth drug and alcohol abuse in the Valley By Marilyn Siegel Tuesday, April 19, 2005
At a Wood River High School Parent Organization meeting, Monday night, April 18th, the seeds of a grass roots movement began to grow among the parents, community members, school administration, law enforcement and counseling professionals who see a need to address drug and alcohol abuse among young people in the Valley. Nearly 80 people sat in the audience, while a panel of 16 spoke about their perceptions of the issues facing teens and parents today. This meeting came on the heels of one organized the prior week by members of the Sun Club, which featured guest speaker, Dr. Lynn Hankes. Many of the same people participated in both forums..
Eric Thomas, Head of Blaine County’s Diversion Program and a panel member at both meetings, expressed the issue this way:
New research, as sited by Dr. Hankes and others, proves that the real threat from teen drug and alcohol abuse is that early use results in demonstrable neuro-chemical damage.
Kids are very good at isolating parents, leaving adults to wonder, “What is the norm? Do other parents really allow this?”
We, as a community, must change the culture. What is the message we want to send? Right now it could be seen as an invisible sign at the entrance to our Valley that says: Underage drinking is OK here – just don’t get caught and “soft drug” use will be winked at.
- More structure for kids
- Better boundaries provided by parent
- Community to develop an action plan