Letters to the editor April 12

Kudos to Senior Living

Congrats on your new Senior Living section! The Sullivan County/Wayne County population is growing older (if we are lucky), and your concise reference tool makes our search for services easier.

Jim Kayton
Fremont Center, NY

The number one public health problem

Take a guess at what the number one public health problem is in these United States?

If you guessed alcoholism or alcohol-related problems, you would be correct.

As if this isn’t bad enough, adding more fuel to this fire is our youth’s fascination with alcohol. No other substance is more widely used, and abused, by kids than alcohol. It remains the ultimate gateway drug.

Unfortunately, parents often overlook underage drinking behaviors as part and parcel of rites of passage. Actually, they are not. Prevention science has long since proven the fact that the longer children delay drinking and other drug use, the less likely they are to develop addiction problems around those behaviors. Brain science has proven that the adolescent brain does not reach a level of maturity until age 25; thus, any drug introduced prior may result in serious, unforeseen consequences. Regrettably, it does not take long for addiction to steadily evolve into a chronic, progressive brain disease, and the likelihood increases if substance addiction runs in one’s family.

Parents can play a crucial role in fostering a change of attitude, by helping kids accept that drinking alcohol won’t make them more socially acceptable, or cool, or better able to have a good time. Non-use is a sound, healthy, viable option.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, a most apropos time for parents to address the issue of underage drinking with their kids. Remember, it is best to strive for an open, fluid and honest conversation with your sons and daughters. Reserve judgment. Listen. Be encouraging and supportive. Take advantage of this teachable moment. It will be well-worth the effort.

Luisa Parker & Lynn Baron
Sullivan Agencies Leading Together
(S.A.L.T.) Prevention Committee
Monticello, NY

 

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