July 28, 2010

High school athletes are more likely to drink underage

Today's article in USA Today entitled, "Website warns athletes that alcohol can lead to prison, death" is a good reminder about the dangers of underage drinking. The article describes how the New Mexico Activities Association is launching a website (lifeofanathlete.com) to remind high school athletes about the dangers of alcohol abuse. On the website, the story of Gabe Gurule is told. Gabe, a former three-sport athlete at an Albuquerque high school who was being recruited by several Big 12 schools, drove drunk on Thanksgiving 2005 and killed three innocent people. He's now spending his time in the Central NM Correctional Facility in Los Lunas.

Perhaps the most telling part of the article is to point out that the program stresses to high school athletes that even occasional alcohol use can have an impact. They say, "A single night of partying, according to the American Athletic Institute, can undo two weeks of training. It can also have more serious results." Gabe proved that.

For parents of high school athletes (or even non-athletes), this is a good reminder of why we must continually talk with our teens. Please start the conversation if you haven't already. It may be your teen you prevent from becoming a victim or a prisoner in a correctional facility.

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