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Last week the Logan County Sheriff's Department arrested 35 youth
for underage drinking. They were at one party near Union. The party
took place on the last day of vacation in the LCHS school sports year,
when those who are high school athletes would not suffer penalties
for their illegal actions.
Due to the recent events in the community, the Alcohol, Tobacco &
Other Drugs Task Force, of the Healthy Communities Partnership,
would like to inform the community about the problems and costs
related with underage drinking.
According to the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation,
underage drinking cost the citizens of Illinois $2.6 billion in
2001. This translates to a cost of $2,132 per year per youth in the
Alcohol use by young people is extremely dangerous -- both to
themselves and society at large. Underage alcohol use is associated
with traffic fatalities, violence, unsafe sex, suicide, educational
failure and other problem behaviors that decrease the prospects of
future success, as well as health risks; and the earlier teens start
drinking, the greater the danger.
Young people who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more
likely to develop alcohol dependence and are two and a half times
more likely to become abusers of alcohol than those who begin
drinking at age 21.
Underage drinking is an entire community concern, not just limited
to parents, law enforcement and schools. Concerned citizens can and
should take the following steps to help prevent underage alcohol
[to top of second column in this letter]
- Support efforts taken in your
community to limit underage drinking.
- Support schools and agencies providing positive experiences and
opportunities for youth.
Lincoln Community High School could choose to implement a
year-round extracurricular code, or they could choose to continue to
follow the IHSA standards. Whatever that choice may be will not
decrease the underage drinking problem we have in Logan County.
These 35 kids got caught… What about the countless others who did
not get caught that night, the night before or the night after?
We need to work together, as a community, for the health and
well-being of our citizens. We have to communicate with the
community at large, and, as a community, we have to work together to
change the community norms that allow or encourage drinking by
Simply put, it's easy for youth to drink alcohol, and that's a
problem for all of us. It makes our roads less safe, our schools
less effective and our future less certain. We all have to be part
of the solution.
If you want to help solve the underage drinking problem, the
Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs Task Force could use your assistance.
We meet at noon the second Friday of every month at the Logan County
For more information, e-mail us at
The Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs Task Force
of the Healthy Communities Partnership.
(Posted Aug. 16, 2005)
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