Our View: Don't be a loser
The message is clear: Parents who host drinking parties for teens are big losers.
Losers, as in causing the loss of something valuable without even realizing it.
More parents than we would like to admit see little harm in providing liquor to underage kids and their friends. If they take away the car keys and don't let anyone drive, some parents don't see the harm in the idea.
Trouble is, by sending the message to young people that drinking is acceptable behavior for underage participants, parents have a greater potential for losing their son or daughter to premature death.
Alcohol is a factor in five of the leading causes of death among young people. Alcohol poisoning and bodily injury resulting from being drunk are far too often reported across the state.
Alcohol use is also a leading factor in serious injuries to young people, which can scar them for life in any number of ways.
Early exposure to recreational drinking can also lead to alcohol problems down the road. A teen who drinks is more likely to be an alcoholic when they are an adult than a young person who waits until they are 21 to imbibe.
The younger users also are more likely to drive drunk at some point in their lives, putting themselves and others in serious danger.
We applaud the local effort to educate parents about the dangers of hosting drinking parties in private homes. We are heading into a season when such events take place -- around prom and graduation time.
The "Parents Who Host Lose the Most: Don't be a Party to Underage Drinking" campaign is being promoted by New Richmond, Somerset and other area communities, along with the St. Croix County Substance Abuse Committee.
It's an important message for everyone, including young people and their parents, to hear. There are fun activities that can be planned that don't involve the consumption of alcohol. By adding drinking to the mix, everyone is taking a huge gamble that could result in a terrible loss.
The loss may not come on the night of the party, but the seed for a major loss could be planted and come later on. Make the right choice. Don't be a loser.