Putting drinks down

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Peer pressure seems like such a clich/ phrase, and we&8217;ve all heard a million times how important it is to not give into it. In fact, many of us, no matter the age, probably assume ourselves to be immune to it. But we&8217;re not.

Teenagers have a lot on their plate, and adults can&8217;t ignore the fact. The weight of pleasing their parents, their teachers and especially their friends looms heavily over their heads.

This leads many to take a sip of what to them might seem like an innocent drink. Something simply to help them relax and have fun, without worrying about the test Monday morning. At the time, it always seems like it&8217;s not a big deal, but so often one drink leads to drunk driving, date rape or often-deadly accidents that could have been prevented.

Tomorrow at 8:30 a.m., Shelby County officials will gather to discuss the issue of underage drinking and brainstorm ideas to prevent it. This meeting needs to be so much more than a lecture that goes in one ear and out the other. Parents, you need to bring your concerns. Teachers, you need to bring your expertise. But most importantly, teens, you need to bring your point of view.

Speakers including Attorney General Troy King and Shelby County Manager Alex Dudchock will join a panel of experts including Judge Jim Kramer, Sheriff Chris Curry and Superintendent Randy Fuller for a town hall meeting at the Family Connection Community Counseling Center in Alabaster.

Solutions can be found if people speak up. We need to find a way to get to kids where they are and find out what truly would make them stop and think before they take that first sip.

There is so much to lose if we ignore the problem.