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Published August 8th, 2018
Letters to the Editor

Teen drinking

May 23 of 2019 will mark the 10-year anniversary of the tragic death of Joseph Loudon at a teen party that involved underage drinking. For those who still remember, Joseph Loudon was a much-loved teenager who played three team sports and had a 3.8 GPA. After the tragedy, the summer of 2009 were the darkest months in Orinda where there were lots of grief, sadness, finger pointing and law suits. However, how quickly did the teenagers and parents forget? Everyone has moved on, and teenagers are back to hosting or attending teen parties whenever parents are out of town. My own son did just that, and I only found out because the police were called. However, there was no police report, no investigation on how underage kids get access to alcohol, and bottom line was no one was in trouble. I get it. Who wants our kids to be in trouble or have any record of substance abuse? However, my son confessed to me that he has been going to these teen parties, and that he had witnessed a girl having to go to hospital for alcohol poisoning. It occurred to me that this is another Joseph Loudon tragedy waiting to happen if these unsupervised teen parties don't stop. The only question is, who is the next unlucky teenager? I certainly don't want that to be my son. Ask yourself, do you want your child to be the next victim? If not, then next time you have to leave town for any reason, please think hard before leaving your teenagers home alone unsupervised. There's a good chance they will host a teen party that will involve alcohol and/or drugs. Most of the teenagers that I know are great kids, but that does not mean these teenagers will know what is best for themselves and they do not think about what can happen to them. But we adults do, so PLEASE, don't give your teenagers the chance to become the next victim, don't leave them home unsupervised. I certainly learned my lesson. Even for teenagers going to a party, parents should find out where they are going, and make sure that the party has adult supervision.

Resident of Orinda

(Editor's note: The author of this letter requested anonymity due to concern over the mention of their own child's activity.)

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