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Wednesday, February 20 , 2019, 4:35 am | Fair 38º


Dudley Talks with Bishop Diego Students About Consequences of Alcohol, Drugs

Police detective and Cottage Hospital trauma staff also address the school assembly

At a special morning assembly Monday, the students, parents, faculty and administrators at Bishop Garcia Diego High School benefited from a frank discussion about alcohol and drug usage by teens and the price to be paid for making poor choices.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley challenged Bishop students to do a “cost/benefit analysis” when they were faced with the all but inevitable decision of whether to drink alcohol or smoke marijuana. She made a compelling case that the “benefits” of feeling cool and temporarily euphoric are far outweighed by the “costs” of damaging one’s health, safety and reputation.

The theory that marijuana is a “gateway drug” was vigorously defended by Dudley as well as by Santa Barbara police Detective Sean Hill and Officer Adrian Gutierrez. Further, Dudley shared that 85 percent of the crimes that she prosecuted as an assistant district attorney involved drugs and alcohol.

Cottage Hospital’s Trauma Center was represented by the mother and son team of Elizabeth Taylor Lindsey and her son, David Lindsey.

Surviving a prom night auto accident prompted David’s interest in the medical field. He shared personal stories of ER trauma cases, and the students were shown graphic and compelling photos and video. Students learned that 28 percent of 15- to 20-year-olds who were killed in motor vehicle collisions had been drinking.

In addition to stressing that drinking and driving is a killer, an additional takeaway message was the importance of seat belts, helmets for cyclists and putting the cell phone away while driving. An AT&T-sponsored video that discussed the deadly effects of texting and driving was a particularly impactful part of the presentation. 

The assembly was sponsored by the Bishop Diego Parent Advisory Board’s Committee on Drug and Alcohol Awareness. Bishop Diego High School is an independent, Catholic high school that welcomes students of all faiths.

— Ashley Snider is the director of admissions and public relations at Bishop Garcia Diego High School.

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