Red Ribbon Week concludes

Published 11:38 pm Friday, October 27, 2017

This past week was Red Ribbon Week which raises awareness to the issues of teenage drinking and drug abuse. Additionally, Troup County  went the extra mile by using the theme #mystoryis to promote that everyone’s stories are better drug and alcohol free.

The Troup County Health Department put on the Teen Maze for ninth graders to act out the consequences of drinking, using drugs and distracted driving. Because adolescent brains are not fully developed, they sometimes don’t realize the consequences of their actions.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, more than 4,300 adolescents die from excessive drinking every year. People between 12 and 20-years-old drink 11 percent of all alcohol consumed in the U.S. and more than 90 percent of this alcohol was consumed from binge drinking, according to the website.

According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, about 5 percent of adolescents, ages 12 to 17-years-old, suffered from a substance use disorder in 2014. About 2.7 percent of those in that age range had an alcohol disorder.

Additionally, youth who drink alcohol are more likely to experience poor or failing grades, memory problems and at a higher risk for suicide and homicide, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. There’s a reason the drinking age is 21-years-old, most people by then are either near finishing college or have already been working professionally for a few years — they have better formed judgments and are more mature.

It’s important to reach out to youth before they participate in risky behaviors including drinking alcohol. A lot of people tried to spread the message this week, we hope local teenagers were listening.