Letter to the Pilot

Tuesday, April 2, 2002

Dance, don't drink

The Storm Lake High School junior-senior prom is Saturday, April 13. Here's something for us to take to heart:

The three leading causes of death for 15 to 24-year-olds are automobile crashes, murders and suicides. And alcohol is a leading factor in all three.

Alcohol use is the number one drug problem among young people. Alcohol kills 6.5 times more teens that all other illegal drugs combined.

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration reports that in the year 2000 (the most recent statistics available), 16,653 Americans were killed in alcohol-related car crashes. One-hundred twenty-four of them were Iowans, and 2,238 of them

were teenagers.

During a typical weekend in the United States, an average of one teenager dies each hour in a car crash. Almost half of those crashes involved alcohol.

More than 2.5 million teenagers don't know that a person can die from an alcohol overdose.

Those are agonizing stats... and would be even more so if one of them were your teenagers! Parents! Don't let your kids drink - prom weekend or any weekend! Don't let them drink and drive - or be driven by a drunk! Help them learn to celebrate the good times in their lives smart and sober. Make the 2002 prom night one they - and you - will remember with joy, not with a trip every year to a cemetery!

Denise Betts,

Prom Advisor