An important discussion

From Essex CHIPS:

“Did you know that 38% of EHS Seniors binged on alcohol in the past 30 days?  That means they had 5 or more drinks of alcohol in a row within a couple of hours.  This is a serious concern since 5,000 people under 21 die, annually, from alcohol related injuries.” 


I remember when I was a high schooler in Canton, MA. Every year I spent in high school included at least one funeral or wake to attend. Sometimes there were hospital visits and at the very least — sympathy cards sent to friends and families. Too many young people I’ve known have died or have been hurt from alcohol-related situations.

It all came to head for me personally one night in high school. I was a junior.

School was almost finished with just a couple of months to go before the summer. We all went to party and when it was time to go home, several stayed out later. Those several were all drunk by the time they decided to get behind the wheel and drive home. One car full — three of my friends — smashed into a stone wall in front of a residential home. Two were hospitalized. One died.

Just remembering this makes me well up. I will never see one of my friends ever again. She was a beautiful and smart person who happened to make a few lousy decisions one night. While many of us receive second chances in life, some of us are not so lucky.

There will be a Parent Dialogue Night on Dec. 11 in the EHS Cafeteria from 6-8 p.m.

It is an evening of open discussion with youth and adults, focusing on teens and alcohol. It’s open to the public and you have a chance to learn about recent data collected from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Not only that, but you get to hear what it’s like to be a teen in the greater Essex community.

Dialogue Night is student led and sponsored by the Essex high school group, Our Voices Xposed, Students Against Destructive Decisions, and Essex CHIPS & Teen Center.

I think this is a terrific idea and I applaud those student groups who put this together.

— Susan