A sad statistic
The figures show 40.9 percent of eighth-graders in the county have had a drink of alcohol in the last 30 days, compared to 31.8 percent for eighth-graders across the state of Oregon.
With that said, the percentages from Crook County actually brought up the state average. More than two-thirds of those surveyed said it was "very easy to sort of easy" to get beer, wine or hard alcohol, which forces one to ask the question, "Who is contributing to this problem?"
According to Brenda Comini, director of the Commission on Children and Families, "what we hear from kids is that there's nothing to do."
While it'd be easy to turn this into a story for a new pool, movie theater, etc., the fact that there is "nothing to do" in Prineville is a poor excuse.
Kids in middle school or anywhere can go to the skate park, play sports, participate in church functions, school functions, or stay busy with work.
Additionally, we ask the parents to pay attention and keep a closer eye on their children. There should not be a direct correlation between nothing to do and drinking. Usually, when there's nothing to do, you make something to do, you don't participate in illegal, unsafe, degenerative, habit-forming activity.
Getting into a habit of drinking can only lead to the absolute worst-case scenario. It seems all too often that a student in high school dies of alcohol-related causes.
If we in Crook County are going to combat this problem, we implore the residents to attend this meeting to help solve the issue.