As I recently read “Parents, sheriff square off over MIP bust,” I am reminded that the issue of parent-condoned drinking in Eagle County continues to be an issue. While some parents may truly have been in the dark as to the presence of alcohol at this annual event, I am inclined to believe that many knew exactly what was going on and that a few may have even been involved in the procurement of “enough booze to stock a liquor store.”
Many excuses in support of this behavior are typically given by parents in these situations, but the fact remains that the activity is illegal and presents numerous risks — including alcohol poisoning, injury or death resulting from drinking and driving and impaired decision-making abilities that can lead to physical violence and sexual assault.
As a board member of the Eagle River Youth Coalition for the past 10 years, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about the many consequences of underage drinking, both through trainings I’ve attended, as well as from the results compiled from the biannual Healthy Kids Colorado Survey administered by the coalition.
That survey asks local middle and high school students several questions covering a broad range of risk-based behaviors, including underage drinking. We have recently made available a survey for parents of adolescents that seeks to understand parents’ perceptions and behaviors with regard to underage drinking, as we believe this is clearly an important community issue that needs to be addressed.
Survey links for both English and Spanish speakers can be found on the home page of Youth Coalition’s website at www.eagleyouth.org (along the right hand side). The results from this anonymous survey will be incorporated into the findings from our next Healthy Kids Colorado Survey to be conducted this coming November.
Regardless of your position on this topic, I would encourage any parents of adolescent children to take five minutes to complete the survey so that your opinion may be counted.
Eagle River Youth Coalition