Live music, free hamburgers and hot dogs, a movie and a motivational speech by Martin Houston, a member of Alabama’s 1992 National Championship Team were on tap to draw a crowd for the Alcohol Awareness Month event in Noble Park.
Underage drinking in the area is said to be “near epidemic.”
A recent survey in the area found that one in eight sixth-graders said they drink, and almost three out of four high school seniors. An increase in girls’ risky behavior involving alcohol was also noted.
Cheaha Regional Mental Health Prevention Services coordinator Richard Bonds said that underage drinking is especially risky because the part of the brain that determines behavior doesn’t fully develop until age 25 or 26. He said drinking impairs rational thinking, even in adults, and it’s no surprise that younger people drinking alcohol make so many poor decisions.
Houston encouraged those at the event not to underestimate the effects of alcohol and empower themselves by making the right choices in life. He encouraged each person there to make a zero-tolerance commitment to avoiding alcohol and fulfilling his or her destiny.
We commend those who organized the event and hope the area’s young people benefit from it by making the right choices in their lives.