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Sun, Oct. 20

Guest Column: Drug awareness in our town

No one wants to believe that a family member or a neighborhood youth might be into teen drinking or experimenting with drugs. Unfortunately it is all too prevalent in the United States and our town as well. How can it happen to Williams? Sometimes we forget that our teens and young children have very little experience with the dark side of alcohol and drugs. It seems glamorous and grown up. They are lured by their peers and too often by a family member.

Our youth are seldom aware of the physical and mental consequences of alcohol abuse and drug use. As adults, it is our job to begin drug education very early in a child's life and continue it through the teens. The old saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," is very true.

What is alcohol and why is it so dangerous to a young person's body and brain? If you remove the water from alcohol you have ether. It depresses the central nervous system and changes communication patterns. It effects vision, distorts hearing, impairs judgment, and disturbs motor skills. Major damage takes place in the brain which leaves young people susceptible to permanent and irreversible problems.

Be aware that alcohol is the most used drug in the country. Among teens, it is the number one abused substance. How can we as adults help? Discourage young people from starting a drinking habit. Know where your teens are, who they are with, and what they are doing. Give them the facts about the physical and mental effects of alcohol and keep alcohol cabinets locked at home.

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