Prevention responsibilities

Letters to the editor

Posted: Monday, February 17, 2003

As someone who works with youth, I was frustrated to read that a local survey determined that 57 percent of Juneau's liquor stores were willing to sell to young buyers without seeing ID. In my work with Juneau's middle school and high school kids, I see the problems that go hand-in-hand with underage drinking like poor grades, vandalism, premature sexual activity, violence and exploration of other drugs. I try to help kids to make healthy choices for themselves, but it would be a lot easier for these kids to make wise decisions regarding alcohol if adults didn't make it so readily available to them. Any alcohol a teen consumes came to him or her by way of an adult. Maybe a clerk sold it to him. Maybe an adult gave it to her. Maybe a parent has a liquor cabinet that he stole it from.

Ask yourself: How hard is it to check an ID? How hard is it to buy kids soda instead of beer? How hard is it to keep track of the alcohol in your own home?

Preventing underage drinking is the job of all of us. And it's not really that hard.

George Shirk


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