trend - Tragic end
By Maxwell Pereira
Jt. Commissioner of Police/Traffic, Delhi
bash ends up in midnight smash" sceamed the headlines in
one of the dailies. No less gory were the accounts of the tragedy
elsewhere! A birthday celebration turned into tragedy for six
teenagers when the Maruti Baleno they were travelling in spun
out of control and collided with an oncoming Ambassador car in
the opposite carriage-way on Pritviraj Road in the heart of the
Capital late on Friday the 14th March night. Three of them lost
their lives, while the other three and the driver of the Ambassador
were seriously injured. Survivors and the dead had to be extricated
from the smashed mangled remains of the Baleno by the police disaster
life styles influenced by media overkill, lack of parental and
societal controls over the young, and an over indulgence in intoxicants
that give a 'high' are normally blamed. The fact remains - young
lives get snuffed out in their prime, causing untold misery and
trauma to loved ones they leave behind
causing heavy damage
and loss to the community and the country in terms of vibrant
human stock lost forever.
to sit up and take heed. Here are some social tips to both - the
young, and their parents
. May be these will help to some
" Know the law. Alcohol is illegal to buy or possess if you
are under 25 in Delhi.
" Get the facts right. One 12-ounce glass of beer has as
much alcohol as a 1.5-ounce shot of whiskey or a 5-ounce glass
" Stay informed. Wine coolers look like juice sparklers but
they have just as much alcohol as a 12-ounce beer. One glass of
clear malt can give a teenager a .02 on a breathalyzer test. In
many countries abroad even this amount is enough for anyone under
the age of 21 to lose his/her driver's license and be subject
to a fine.
" Be aware of the risks. Drinking increases the risk of injury.
Car crashes, falls, burns, drowning, and suicide are all linked
to alcohol and other drug use.
" Keep your edge. Alcohol can ruin your looks, give you bad
breath, and make you gain weight.
" Play it safe. Drinking can lead to intoxication, degeneration
into alcoholism and even death.
" Do the smart thing. Drinking puts your health, education,
family ties, and social life at risk.
" Be a real friend. If you know someone with a drinking problem,
be part of the solution. Urge your friend to get help.
" Remain alert. Stay clear on claims that alcohol means glamour
and adventure. Stay clear on what's real and what's illusion.
" Sweep away the myths. Having a designated driver is no
excuse to drink. Drinking only at home, or sticking only to beer
does not make drinking any "safer".
Communication tips to protect one's child from alcohol and drugs:
" Set a good example. "Do as I say, not as I do"
doesn't cut it with teens. Adolescents can understand that some
things appropriate for adults are not acceptable for teens. But
keep that distinction sharp. Do not allow children to mix cocktails,
bring you a beer or sip from your wine glass.
" Emphasize that actions have consequences. Talk about why
values such as honesty, self-reliance and responsibility are important.
" Make your opinions known. Adolescents are less likely to
use alcohol or drugs if they know their parents disapprove of
teens using those substances. And start your talks early. Average
age to start talking to you kid is may be when he is 12.
" Set firm but reasonable rules. Tell your child what behaviour
is expected. Explain the reasons for your rules and discuss the
consequences for breaking them.
" Be consistent. Make it clear to your child that a no-alcohol
rule remains in effect at all times - in your home, in a friend's
home, at a party, anywhere.
" Get to know your child's friends.
" Get to know the parents of your child's friends. Have everyone
agree to forbid each other's children from consuming alcohol or
drugs in their homes and pledge to notify each other if one of
you becomes aware of a child who violates the pact.
" Call parents whose homes have been known for parties. Make
sure no alcohol or drugs will be tolerated. Don't be afraid to
check out a party for yourself.
" Be straightforward. Tell your child that you know what
happens among many teens, maybe even their friends, and discuss
why your child should not participate in those activities. Point
out the dangers of alcohol use.
" Give your child a way out. Discuss in advance how to contact
you or another adult to get a ride home if alcohol or drugs are
being used at a party.
" Don't be naive. Watch for signs of abuse like dropping
grades at school, a sudden change in friends or missing money.
If you sense a problem, seek help.
" Find time for your children. This is paramount.
author can be reached at http://planetindia.net/maxwell
or his email: email@example.com
) 850 words. 18.03.2003: Copy
Right © Maxwell Pereira: 3725 Sec-23, Gurgaon-122002. You
can interact with the author at http://
www.maxwellperira.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
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