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Parental errors and teen binge drinking

Lynn Skrukrud and Vicki Downs, members of the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County, exchanged bright repartee while playing the roles of a teenage daughter and her mother talking about the girl’s night out.

Downs questioned her “daughter” about her friends, admonished her about alcohol use and advised that she return home at 11:30 p.m.

The role-playing, part of a youth-led town hall meeting on binge drinking Wednesday at Silver Springs High School, shined a spotlight on how parenting errors can lead to alcohol abuse – and the damage it brings – among teens.



Low-intensity parenting and early-age drinking can be a fast track to the state prison, said Judge Robert Tamietti, who spoke at the meeting. Yet few parents of local students attended, which was disappointing, said Tasha Senn, program director with Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County. The town hall meeting was part of the coalition’s first-quarter meeting.

It comes on the heels of Nevada County District Attorney Cliff Newell charging a mother with providing alcohol




See EDUCATION A6

to minors at a party in Grass

Valley. Earlier, Bear River High School administrators canceled the girls’ basketball season at Bear River High School after

team members admitted that alcohol was served at a party in Granite Bay.

“Alcohol is the most dangerous of all drugs,” said Becka Callahan, a counselor with Community Recovery Resources and one of the speakers at the gathering. “Get to your kids before they get to me.”

The incidence of young men getting into a fight due to intoxication is huge, Callahan said. It’s equally common for young girls to find themselves in physically vulnerable positions at parties because they’re drunk, she added.

According to a handout available at the meeting, 47 percent of youth in Nevada County reported using alcohol or drugs during the past 30 days, and 70 percent said obtaining alcohol is easy.

The two biggest sources of alcohol for youth are parties and home, the handout said.

Skrukrud, a Sierra College student who’s also the chair of the youth sector of the coalition, played a video that demonstrated the brain damage drug and alcohol abuse can cause.

About 75 people including educators, law enforcement officials, business people and representatives from faith-based group attended the meeting at the Silver Springs gymnasium.

“It’s a shame parents didn’t show up,” said Shelley Rogers, Senn’s assistant. “That’s who we did this for.”

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To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail ssen@theunion.com or call 477-4229.


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