On Thursday afternoon my son sent me a text. “Are you going to be home by 7:00?” it said. I thought he wanted me to drive him to martial arts class. As it turned out, he wanted me to drive myself to Darien High School. He wanted me to hear former NBA player Chris Herren speak about his struggle to overcome substance abuse.
This opinion piece/announcement is by Carrie Bernier, executive director of the Community Fund of Darien:
The Community Fund’s Thriving Youth Task Force has set its sights on reducing teenage binge drinking in Darien. When they launched the “Our Darien 06820” campaign last winter, they hoped to hit a nerve locally with parents and teens. They didn’t suspect that it would strike a chord nationally, too. Emily Larkin, The Community Fund of Darien’s Thriving Youth director, recently returned from California after presenting Darien’s innovative “06820” campaign to a national audience of substance abuse professionals.
Darien’s binge drinking prevention campaign is the product of a collaboration between The Community Fund of Darien, the Thriving Youth Task Force and the creative team at Colangelo Synergy Marketing.
The Thriving Youth Task Force and The Community Fund of Darien must be commended for providing reliable information about the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption. ____________
Editor’s note: This commentary by Dr. Jamie Roach-Murray of Darien, who has been a practicing pediatrician in Darien and now concentrates on public health and health policy. It was submitted as a letter to the editor by the Thriving Youth Task Force, of which she is a member. Darienite.com is treating this as an op-ed, adding subheadings, weblinks and images. At the bottom, we’ve added a video of a recent panel discussion in New Canaan where Roach-Murray spoke.
Teenagers are not ready for alcohol, which is particularly dangerous for them. Their parents should have zero tolerance for their drinking and never allow them to drink. Teens need to learn ways of avoiding peer pressure to drink. Those were some of the points made Monday night by Frank Bartolomeo, who’s been a professional counselor for teenagers and a researcher on adolescent development. Bartolomeo talked during a panel discussion Monday night after the audience saw the documentary “Haze” about the dangers of teen and young adult binge drinking.
After a documentary film about the dangers of binge drinking among teenagers and young adults was shown at Darien Library on Monday night, James Palmieri, recently the school resource officer at Darien High School, told the audience that, just as in the documentary, a Darien teenager had died from the affects of binging on alcohol when his friends had left him. “This isn’t something that happens [only] in other places,” Palmieri, now a detective with Darien police after 4 1/2 years as the department’s school resource officer at the high school. He was speaking as part of a panel discussing binge drinking after the audience of about 150 saw the movie “Haze.” “[I]n some cases, one of which I was directly involved with, the kid ended up dying purely because he drank too much, and his friends didn’t want to deal with him,” Palmieri said. “One of them was thrown in an Uber [driving service car] and sent home, and you know, circumstances unfolded, and he ended up dying.”