Just a Small News Story on Teen Drinking…

But how many lives were saved?

winding road in the mountains

In the news, there was a rather obscure piece of news that might have much bigger meaning than you think. On US Forest Service land outside Boise, Idaho, the police broke up a teen drinking party that was taking place out in the woods. The kicker is that they could not even send the kids home under their own power as most of them were too impaired. Out of 100 kids at the party, 80 were too impaired to safely make their ways home. So the police called up an inmate bus and loaded the kids on. They were driven back to Boise and delivered to their parents at an elementary school.

The news report states that the location of the party was on a “twisting road with steep drop-offs, leading to a ski area.” What if the police hadn’t found that party? What if these young people with limited experience in driving had tried to take that road home? What if the ones who were impaired went right off the road and down the mountain?

I know what would have happened then. The families of those young people would have suffered the worst broken hearts possible. Some moms, dads, and siblings might never have fully gotten over this loss.

What would have made it all the worse is that any of these deaths (had they occurred) would have been completely preventable.

How Could This Situation Happen?

So basically, you have 100 young people who either lied to their parents about where they were going or you have a lot of parents who are not keeping track of where their teenaged kids are going at night. You also have to have one or more over-21 people who were willing to supply this party with plenty of booze. Arrests of suppliers are not mentioned in this article. Every young person’s death would have been on his or her head, had the party continued the way it was going.

These are difficult times for young people. There are too many temptations and opportunities like these. Parents must know where their kids are going and who they will be with. If necessary, stories should be checked. If kids say they are going for “sleepovers” at a friend’s house, then the parents of that friend should be contacted.

Many young people will resent this kind of monitoring. There’s a response from one young woman who went away to college after having this kind of monitoring during her teen years. She said that she hated it at the time but when she got older, she realized how much her parents cared about her.

Close monitoring is not being paranoid or over-protective. It’s caring. If someone accuses you of being over-protective (like other parents or your kids), you can just tell them that’s how you show your love. Ultimately, your kids will realize the truth and other parents – well, sometimes you just can’t bring everyone to a better understanding.


Sue Birkenshaw

Sue has worked in the addiction field with the Narconon network for three decades. She has developed and administered drug prevention programs worldwide and worked with numerous drug rehabilitation centers over the years. Sue is also a fine artist and painter, who enjoys traveling the world which continues to provide unlimited inspiration for her work. You can follow Sue on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn.