We were so saddened and disappointed to see the need for another Lodi teenager to be featured in the http://www.lodinews.com/">Lodi News-Sentinel this week for her dangerous abuse of alcohol in the Downtown area.
On the other hand, we were very encouraged to read about at least one dad who is trying to be involved and make a positive difference in his daughter's life and in our community. That is the desire and commitment of the staff and supporters of the One-Eighty Teen Center as well.
We know and love some of the students involved that evening and while we regret we cannot stop every teenager from getting into trouble, once we became aware of the situation with this young lady we acted on it. Our staff went down to find her, and to assist the officers in identifying relatives they could call. We found other girls who'd been drinking and took them home. And the place which these girls have come for guidance and support since that time is here at One-Eighty.
The reality is that there is a problem in our town with teens and substance abuse. And the reality is that One-Eighty is one of too few organizations actively positioning themselves to do something about it. As an organization committed to being a safe positive place for Lodi teens, often this will mean that we find ourselves in the center of some tough situations, where kids in trouble make their way to our doorstep. Truly, we wouldn't have it any other way. Where else will they go? Who else will offer help and guidance? This is why we're here.
While this is a one-time story in the News-Sentinel, I want people to be aware that the story continues for us. We work hard to build relationships with these kids and their families, so they know that there is a place they can come when their choices lead them astray. This situation will be no different.
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