Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Friday, July 29, 2011

Parents: Talk to your kids about the dangers of teen substance abuse!

Summer is nearly over and school will start soon. This is a great time for young people to decide NOT to fall prey to the dangers of teen substance abuse, and a great time for parents to sit down with their kids and explain those hazards to them.

If you're not a regular reader of this site, you might not realize that our daughter was a victim of teen substance abuse in January. She was shot and killed by a drunken, stoned 19-year-old kid at a party. Only four days before her 18th birthday, only 15 minutes after texting a friend to say she was "having fun," she was dead on the floor.

That's why part of our mission here is to Reveal the danger of teen substance abuse, to educate parents and kids about the seriousness of this problem. Parents who think it's a stage their kids will grow out of need to realize that not all kids get that chance.

Even if your kid doesn't partake, just being where young, immature kids are drinking and using mind-altering drugs is plenty dangerous. Alcohol and illicit drugs can make the smartest, most mature person become immature and stupid. It should be no surprise that younger and less mature partiers are extremely likely to take risks and make mistakes that too often end in tragedy.

PARENTS: WARN YOUR KIDS!

A survey in the year 2000 revealed 27.5% of kids aged 12-20 had consumed alcohol in the past 30 days. Almost 20% reported binge drinking in the previous month.1 A 1999 study found that approximately 3500 deaths are caused annually by underage drinkers.2 Almost half of these tragedies, about 1600, are the result of homicides. Another 1400 are caused by drunken youths behind the wheel.

While 3500 deaths represent a tiny fraction (some would say insignificant) of the population of teen drinkers, every single one of those deaths is a tragedy. Young people, 3500 of them, with their entire lives before them won't make it through the next twelve months...because of teenage alcohol abuse.

If you don't think it can happen to your kid, think again. The only danger we worried about, really the only thing anyone ever hears of, was drinking and driving. We lectured and lectured Amanda on the dangers of driving under the influence and riding with others who were inebriated. As far as we know, those lectures worked. But we didn't foresee, and we didn't warn her of the danger of some drunk in the room pulling out a gun and shooting her down.

JUST BEING AROUND UNDERAGE DRINKING IS HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH!

Our daughter never reached her 18th birthday. She died a victim of a teenage substance abuser. It's been more than six months since we last saw Amanda. We still see her, just like it was yesterday, lying in her coffin at the alter of the church.

Parents: Don't think it can't happen to your son or daughter.

Even if they can "handle it," those around them may not be able to. This year, 3500 young people will die because they or someone they are with has been drinking. We didn't think it could happen to Amanda, but it did. I promise you, you do not want to walk where we walk, you don't want to dream what we dream, you don't want to wonder what we wonder every day.

TALK TO YOUR KIDS and tell them Amanda's story, our story. You just might save their lives.



If you don't know Jesus as your personal savior, if you're missing the faith, hope, and love written about here, if you want the peace that we as Christians have in our lives, please visit our Got Jesus? page for step-by-step instructions on how to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.


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