This is an open letter penned to Patch following the arrest Sunday of a Sayville couple for endangering the welfare of a child as a teenager overdosed on alcohol at a party on their property.
It is amazing given everything we know about the potential health and safety consequences associated with underage drinking that parents still allow this to go on in their homes.
'I'd rather they do it under my roof' has become a familiar refrain among parents who seem more interested in being popular than in doing the right thing. Underage drinking increases a kid's risk for addiction five-fold and puts them at higher risk for sexual assault (either as victim of perpetrator), fights and violence, slip and falls, water and diving accidents, and of course, alcohol poisoning.
These arrests should send a clear message that there are criminal penalties for this behavior, as well as possible civil liabilities if someone gets hurt.
I truly hope that St. Anthony's, though this incident didn't occur on their premises, will address this issue in the classroom and take immediate steps to boost their drug and alcohol education programs.
Dr. Jeffrey L. Reynolds
Ph.D, CEAP, SAP
L.I. Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD)