April 13, 2009

Teen Sensation Raises Valid Points

According to this online report, Miley Cyrus is concerned about increasing underage drinking. The 16-year-old Disney star tells Glamour magazine, "At one of my very first awards shows I ever did, there was a bottle of vodka in my gift bag." She goes on recalling, "No one cared that they were giving this to a 12-year-old."

Some young girls, as young as five, follow Cyrus' every move, memorizing lyrics to her songs and hanging posters in their rooms. She has a huge following of young girls and it is good to see she has concerns about the nation's number one youth drug problem--underage drinking.

The earlier youth drink, the more likely they will become dependent and drive drunk later in life according to research. Interestingly, women are catching up to men in drunk driving and New Mexico's Department of Transportation has a new ad campaign reminding women, that they too, need to never drive drunk. Check out this website.

New Mexico takes the issue of drunk driving very serious being the poster-state for anti-drunk driving efforts nationwide and leading the charge with interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. New Mexico's alcohol-involved crash deaths decreased 19 percent from 2007-2008; and 35 percent from 2004-2008 because of its commitment to eliminate drunk driving.

If more young women and men stood up against underage drinking, and their parents too, the whole nation would see less deaths and injuries on and off the roadways. And, all of those 16 year olds would become more responsible adult drivers and be able to live a long, full life filled with graduations, new jobs, new marriages, and new babies. Now, that is the best of both worlds, as Miley says in her hit song.

Stay tuned to 2009 summer launch of MADD's parents' initiative aimed at preventing underage drinking by creating a clearinghouse of knowledge and a contract for parents and their teens to sign.

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