To the Editor:
Lincoln County has one of the highest rates of underage drinking in Maine. Consequently, many parents are looking for ways to reduce underage access to alcohol. One of the easiest ways to do this is to keep track of the alcohol in your own home. If it’s been depleted or is kept in a conspicuous place, it may be leading to consumption by your teen.
Meeting your child’s friends is another important step in reducing access to alcohol. If you suspect that they’re drinking or using drugs, speak to them about it. Contrary to popular belief, teens respond to clear limits and guidelines. As much as some adults may want to be permissive and spread casual attitudes about drinking, teens can and will respond to parental pressures.
In addition to monitoring the behavior of your own teen, concerned parents should also alert law enforcement to the presence of any parties where alcohol is being furnished to minors. Tips can be left anonymously at the Sheriff’s Office. Local law enforcement is very concerned about the issue and is working hard to reduce access to alcohol.
Ironically, drinking robs teens of what they covet most – control over their own lives. Beyond the risk of drinking and driving, excessive drinking can lead to a whole host of poor decisions. If you’re a concerned parent, please feel free to use these tips to keep your child alcohol-free. For more information, please contact 563-6123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lee Emmons,Youth Promise Counselor, Damariscotta