Summit Prevention Alliance beliefs in teen behaviors upsetting |

Summit Prevention Alliance beliefs in teen behaviors upsetting

I am writing in regard to the Summit Prevention Alliance (SPA) article April 30 “Changing teens’ perceptions: Survey results indicate progress since an anti-substance campaign began.”

Being a Summit High School student, I was very upset by this article.

In the first paragraph, it said that the student of this school will “adapt their behaviors to fit with what they perceive is the norm.”

Why do adults seem to think a student would base a potentially life-threatening decision on whether or not their peers choose to do so.

If the adults of Summit County are so concerned for their youth, they should take a look at what happens at home. I know several students who have parents who let them drink at home. I even know a couple of students who smoke with their parents.

My parents never allowed me to drink or smoke. These types of things were never OK for me to even try. When I was confronted with the choice to drink or smoke, I said no. Why did I say no? Not because of some stupid posters telling me that not everyone did. I said no because my parents instilled in me that it is not OK for me to drink or smoke.

Another part of the article stated, “It’s just like Nike, it’s just like Coca-Cola.” That came from Jake Quigley. “It’s got to be accepted by your target population, so it’s got to be hip, it’s got to be funny. We use their creativity, their ideas. We harness their input to ensure a successful campaign,” he said.

This is another statement showing how little the people at the SPA think of high school students. Why do they assume teens are so easily manipulated or will do anything to be cool? I am not denying that teens do things to be cool, but not to such an extreme. How can an organization that thinks so little of students claim to be helping them?

For the four years I have been in high school – two in Conifer and two in Summit – I have never known any of my peers to make decisions concerning drugs or alcohol to be based on what someone had told them everyone wasn’t doing.

The reason students drink or do drugs is because of what is happening right in front of them. They are not sitting there thinking that someone is off in a far away place not drinking with them.

Before Summit County turns to a program that does not think much of students, we should look at why the youth thinks it’s OK to be drinking in the first place.

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