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Lincoln Daily News
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For a safe prom night: Please don't serve alcohol to teens

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To the editor:

As we move into the prom and graduation season, the conversation often turns to making plans to celebrate these events. While fun and parties are an important part of high school memories, be clear that providing alcohol to underage youth is not.

Most parents know not to provide alcohol to their teenage children, but according to the 2010 Illinois Youth Survey, up to one-fifth of Logan County teens have at times gotten alcohol from their parents.

Too often a parent or other adult might think, "I'll just take their keys so they won't drive"; or, "I did it when I was in school and I turned out OK."

Over the years we have seen on numerous occasions that teen drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning, sexual assaults, alcoholism and all kinds of accidental injuries, some of which can be fatal.

Young people tend to underestimate the risks of drinking and the fact that they aren't invincible.

[to top of second column in this letter]

Please recognize that giving alcohol to teens comes at a cost. For both teens and adults, there can be serious consequences to providing alcohol to a teen. Parents who provide guidance and boundaries to their teens greatly reduce the odds of prom night ending in tragedy. Help your teen make the best kind of prom and graduation memories possible.

When they think back on memories years from now, the worst thing we want them to cringe about is their hairstyle and prom attire. Those are the types of prom and graduation memories we can all live with.

Camille Springer
Logan County community prevention coordinator

[Posted April 26, 2011]

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