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Get High on Life

By HAROLD KELLER / L’Observateur / November 30, 1998

I kept a copy of a news release dated Oct 3, 1990. The headline read:”Coroner: Teen was drunk, but had taken no drugs.”If you know anything about drugs, that statement is stupid. However, themajority of people separate alcohol from drugs. Why? Because most adultschoose alcohol as their drug of choice and it’s legal. It’s no wonder we arelosing the so-called war on drugs. It’s hard to win a war when the peoplefighting can’t identify the enemy.

Alcohol is the most abused drug and causes more deaths, disabilities, depression, divorce, sexual abuse and child abuse than any other drug. Theproblem is the way we, as a society (especially in south Louisiana), include alcohol at almost every activity.

I have spoken out in the past about the selling of alcohol at Little League games and school-related functions. The bottom line is that we send outdual messages – don’t do drugs, but it’s OK to promote alcohol.

A few years ago, a parent at Chanel Catholic School in Paulina called me and was very excited about their decision to have an alcohol-free weekend fair. After the function, the same person called again (more excited) andsaid, “Can you believe? We made more money than ever!” Chanel has continued to hold alcohol-free fairs and every year they continue to be financially successful.

Last week, my good friend, Barry Heltz, who is principal at Riverside Academy, shared with me that their P.T.O. has decided to make this schoolyear’s Spring Festival alcohol-free. What was even more exciting andencouraging to me was that a big majority of parents who responded to a poll voiced their opinion to ban alcohol.

To the P.T.O. of Riverside, Mr. Heltz and all the Riverside family: Thanksfor sending a message to your children. Your stand will be one of thebiggest statements you’ve ever made against drug abuse. I assure you thatyour children are pleased with your decision.

To the minority who is concerned that not selling alcohol will affect their profit: You will be surprised. You’ll make more money, you’ll have a trulyfamily-oriented weekend and, most of all, you’ll gain the respect of all the community.

I hope this will send a message to other school groups who continue to sell alcohol at their school functions.

Copyright © 1998, Wick Communications, Inc.

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