Help show Durango youths alcohol-free fun

In response to the story headlined “Dangerously drunk” (Herald, July 6):

As a member of the Durango community who works with youths in the public school system with Big Brothers Big Sisters, I share concern about the normalizing effect on youths when they see widespread alcohol consumption and abuse. I believe we all can change that normalized image. We can do this by providing healthy and fun spaces for youths and adults to recreate, celebrate and gather together as a community.

I would like to offer a hopeful antidote to drinking being a part of Durango’s culture. With some guidance from the Celebrating Healthy Communities coalition, youths and young adults have increasingly been planning and attending healthy community events that do not involve alcohol and are family-friendly. Recent events include Apple Days, the Serengetti Wipeout at Snowdown and the Smoke-Free Celebration in Rotary Park.

Celebrating Healthy Communities’ mission is to increase developmental assets (building blocks of healthy development) among youths and young adults by positively impacting perceptions and community norms regarding substance use. One of these developmental assets is that youths have parents and other adults who model positive, responsible behavior.

So please take the time and energy to model that positive behavior for our kids. And, consider attending (or planning!) a community event that is free of alcohol and full of fun.

Aubrey Beals


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