Even the most obvious things need support

Published 8:48 pm Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Underage drinking and drug use is dangerous.

We all know that. Nearly 100 percent of the children in this area know it, too.

Most children in our community are not using alcohol or drugs, but it is a decision many face. It is up to adults to teach them to choose wisely.

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By the time they reach eighth grade, 41 percent of adolescents have had at least one drink, and nearly 20 percent report having been “drunk.”

Children and teens in Marengo County and surrounding counties need to know how to reject underage drinking and drug use because of the damaging effects on their health today and tomorrow.

The West Alabama Mental Health Center will host a summer camp to raise public awareness about the dangers of underage drinking and drug use. This camp is part of a nationwide effort to discuss the reasons why young people should reject underage drinking and drug use, how they can resist peer pressure or environmental influences and reinforce a child’s ability to make healthy decisions.

The camp will be held July 6-17, Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Morning Star Baptist Church for children age 7 to 14. The activities of the day will be centered around prevention and clinical intervention issues like drugs, bullying, anger, self esteem and communication. The camp is free of charge, and snacks and lunch will be provided.

For more information, contact the West Alabama Mental Health Center at (334) 217-0010.

There are many of you who rolled your eyes reading this, thinking that a program like this isn’t necessary. Until all teens in our county understand the dangers and consequence of drug and alcohol abuse, these programs are not only necessary, they are vital.