Teens Watch Friend Die Because They're Afraid of Getting Caught Drinking

Mom Moment 42

alcoholIt's an all-too-familiar story. Teenager gets some freedom. Teenager gets drunk. Teenager dies from alcohol poisoning while his helpless friends watch.

This is what happens when we make kids so scared of getting caught with alcohol that they’re terrified to calls us when something goes wrong. This is what Brett Finbloom's family is living with today. They were supposed to be saying goodbye as he left for college. Instead they're saying goodbye forever. And it all could have been prevented with just one phone call ... if only the teenagers in that room weren't terrified that they were going to get in trouble.

Parents! If this isn't a sign that we need to change the whole discussion about alcohol, I don't know what is.

Ironically, Brett’s friends needn’t have worried about getting in trouble. They live in Indiana, a state where an underage drinker who calls for assistance for a friend is given full immunity from prosecution. The law protects the intoxicated kid as long as they wait for police to arrive -- essentially making sure the cops actually find their friends in time.

The law is a nice idea, and it should be spread to other states. But frankly parents shouldn’t need lawmakers to tell them that they should cut their kids a break when they call them drunk.

I’m not stupid. I don't want my kid going out and getting drunk, but face it: it's more or less a teenage rite of passage. Some 72 percent of teenagers admit they've consumed alcohol. Sure, your kid could be in that 28 percent, but do you really want to chance it?

We need to make the conversation less about “OMG, if I ever catch you, I’m going to kill you” and more about responsibility, more about safety. Kids shouldn't be so terrified of getting in trouble over a few cans of beer that they get behind the wheel after a few too many and drive their car straight into a tree. Kids shouldn't be so terrified of calling their parents and admitting they've gotten a little hammered that they let their friend die.

What have you told your kids you will do if you catch them drinking?

 

Image via stevendepolo/Flickr

behavior, drugs & alcohol

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acrog... acrogodess

That is so sad. I've told my kids to ALWAYS call for help if someone is in danger. They aren't teenagers yet, but they know I'll be more upset over not calling 911 than I would be about them drinking.

Pinkmani Pinkmani

My mom told me to call her instead of driving home myself. The least they could've done is call 911 and leave. 

nertel08 nertel08

I live in the city where this happened. It's so tragic. He had his whole life before him. I just hope that I am raising my girls in an environment where they feel comfortable calling me if they, or their friends, are ever in a situation where they have had too much to drink; or any other issue. I'm not condoning underage drinking, I'm just not naive to what teenagers do. My prayers go out to his family.

fleur... fleurdelys3110

One of the many reasons why the drinking age should be lowered to 18. Teens will find a way to drink no matter what precautions parents and lawmakers take. This way, drinking "underage" won't have the "cool" stigma attached to it or fuel the binge drinking trend. America is very prude in this area and is in denial.

dee31087 dee31087

So sad.. I dnt ever want my kids to be afraid to tell me anything... I made them n will accept them no matter what.

SuzyB... SuzyBarno

I agree that we should not shame our kids. I have a friend who over dosed on rx meds and his friend was scared he would get into trouble so he crashed out and waited till the morning to call his parents. Then the parents were scared they would get into trouble so they basically dropped him off at the ER curb and left. Our friend ended up having 2 strokes, 2 heart attacks and now has the mental capacity of an 18 month old child. Not excusing his choice to take drugs but if his friend would have called 911 at the first sign of an over dose he might be in a different situation now.

paren... parentalrights1

I get the whole "Don't freak your kid out so much, they're scared to come to you" thing, but seriously? Their friend was dying and their priorities were with not getting in trouble. That says more about the kids than the parents.

paren... parentalrights1

On another note, if your kids call and tell you they are drunk and need a ride, fucking go give them a ride.


I remember a story where either the kid, or the kid's friends died when they were driving drunk, because daddy fuckface decided that he didn't want to come pick them up because "He told him not to go drinking".

nonmember avatar Jamimontana

I am a young mother and it seems not that long ago i was an underage drinker and my parents wouldve painted my back porch red if i wouldve called them too hammered to walk!! But there was always that one parent that would be there for me or any of my friends when needed. And i will always remember the feeling of not being able to lift my head to vomit and her assistance lol she did however make fun of how gross and unlady like and dangerous it was to get that wasted the next day, so it was a bit humiliating. But all parents should be like that, i know if my kids were out getting drunk i would want to be that parent assisting with vomiting not like my parents and not have a clue about what they were doing.

sterl... sterling21

The drinking age is at 21 because, a persons brain is not fully developed until after 21. These were immature drunk teens. The parents could have very well talked to the kids about drinking and rides, but, they did not have the mental capacity to reason. Kids will always make stupid mistakes, they might make less mistakes if the parents are deeply involved, but they still will make bad choices. The tragedy is the young boy will not have the oppurtunity to learn from his mistake, no child deserves that :(

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