To the editor:
We are nearing the time where many young people will celebrate a lifetime of accomplishments as they graduate from high school and move toward their life goals. Family and friends will gather together for a festive occasion to commemorate this awesome milestone.
Traditionally, this is also a time when alcohol enters into the mix and brings tragic results for all involved. Alcohol is the most commonly used drug among American youth and it kills 5,000 teens every year.
Some consider underage drinking a ‘Rite of Passage.’ In Kentucky, we consider it against the law. Last year 4,014 teenagers under the age of twenty were arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and twenty-two of those were under the age of 14.
750 million dollars. That’s a lot of money. It’s the amount that was offered to purchase the ‘Facebook’ internet domain. It is the amount of funding NASA requested to send a solar probe to the sun. It is the gross domestic product of Turkey.
It is also how much underage drinking costs Kentucky taxpayers every year.
With the continued emphasis on our state budget to conserve every dollar, it is more important than ever to reduce the financial burden that underage drinking places on our stretched-thin state.
As a Trooper, I have seen first-hand the consequences that result from youth alcohol related incidents, including driving under the influence, underage drinking parties and alcohol poisoning. Any law enforcement officer will tell you that notifying a parent that their child has been killed in a senseless accident is one of the hardest things we must do.
As a father, I implore parents to talk to children about the dangers of underage drinking. Sixty-five percent of kids who drink alcohol say they get it from their own home. As parents, we are the greatest influence in our children’s lives. The more you connect with them, the less likely they will be to give in to peer pressure.
It is my sincere hope that we all will celebrate the achievements of our Kentucky youth during graduation 2010. Please join with me in making every effort to let our children know the dangers of underage drinking and where we stand on this important issue.
Lt. David P. Jude
Kentucky State Police Headquarters
Alzheimer’s support available in Estill County
To the editor:
The Estill County Support Group, sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association-Greater Kentucky & Southern Indiana Chapter, wants to make the public aware that it is available for persons who are caregivers of family members with Alzheimer’s Disease, the “hidden epidemic”.
This disease is a progressive disorder that attacks the brain and results in impaired memory, thinking and behavior. It is especially cruel, slowly robbing a person’s intellect, memory and ability to perform day-to-day activities. For this reason, it is often referred to as “the long good-bye”.
Presently 5.1 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease. It’s projected that 16 million Americans will have AD by the middle of this century unless a cure or prevention is found. Although the majority of people affected by the disease are over 65 years of age, it also affects people in their 40’s and 50’s. It could very well be the disease of the new millennium.
Persons with Alzheimer’s disease can live 3 to 20 years after the onset of symptoms. They eventually become incapable of self-care, requiring 24-hour attention. Until that point is reached, families shoulder the total burden of physically caring for the person. Seventy percent of persons with Alzheimer’s Disease are cared for at home, usually by their aging spouses or working children.
These families and caregivers face tremendous emotional, physical and financial hardships. They can benefit from attending support group meetings.
The Estill County Support Group meets the second Thursday of each month at 2 p.m. at Horizon Adult Health Care, 178 Broadway Street, Irvine. Meetings provide a relaxed confidential atmosphere where caregivers can exchange experiences and information with others like themselves. As the group leader, a volunteer of the Alzheimer’s Association-Greater Kentucky & Southern Indiana Chapter, I extend a warm invitation to all interested in joining the group. Respite care is provided for your loved one during the meeting.
Support Group Facilitator