Thursday, January 20, 2011

New College Semester

This is the first week back from winter break. This semester, I am taking Biology II (lecture and lab) and Lifespan Psychology. In May, I will finally be graduating from Collin College with an associate's degree of liberal arts! I am so excited! Next semester, I am hoping to attend UNT and begin my journey towards a bachelor's degree in social work and a master's degree in counseling. I know that this will be a long journey but it is a dream of mine to counsel others and be able to share my story to patients.

Wish me luck!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Encouragement to Read the Bible

If you are someone that believes the world will end in 2012, why not let that belief be the motivator that pushes you to read the Bible? When Jesus does return, I'm positive that He would like to know He means enough to us that we chose to read the book gracefully given to us that speaks about Jesus' coming, His nature, His teachings, His life, His sacrifice, and how much He loves us. Born to die... what a life. May we all find the time for God and His Word this year. A great way is listening to the Daily Audio Bible Podcast (also on ITunes). It is a podcast that goes through the Bible in a year. I did it last year and it had an amazing impact on me. Will you set aside 15 minutes of your day this year for God? I feel that it is the least we could do for Him. Good luck and let me know if you're in! There are extraordinary rewards when we seek Him and follow Him.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Texas' Underage Alcohol Abusers Often Re-offend, Avoid Treatment

When a 17-year-old is arrested for DWI, he may be just a baby to mom and dad. But in the eyes of Texas, he's an adult.

"I cannot tell you the number of parents who cried and moaned, who walked into the court when I was trying a 17- or 18-year-old, saying, 'They just brought him home the first 10 times,' " said Clay Abbott, DWI resource prosecutor for the Texas District and County Attorneys Association. "I said, 'Yeah, he was a juvenile then. Now he's mine.' "

As adults too young to legally drink, 17- to 20-year-olds fall into a special category in Texas: "minor adults."

They can be ticketed for infractions such as merely being around alcohol; but, if arrested for driving while intoxicated, they are treated as adults.

Juveniles can't go to jail, their blood cannot be tested without permission, and their records can't be disclosed. Even when drinking and driving, they're usually only ticketed, and the system offers them numerous breaks.

But minor adults, like all adults, can be required to take blood alcohol tests, or their refusal can be used against them. They can be held in jail, with older, hardened criminals. The offense stays on the record forever.

Experts say minor adults pose a challenge for the criminal justice system: They're more likely to drink harder and faster, and they're more likely to re-offend - but they often avoid the help the system offers by taking jail time instead of probation with treatment.

Binge drinking

The 17 to 20 years are prime time for binge drinking at high school pasture parties and college frat blowouts.

At a recent alcohol awareness class for minors in McKinney, girls giggled and boys nodded their heads knowingly when instructor Rickey Haynes referred to various drinking games such as "Edward Fortyhands," where drinkers tape to their hands two 40-ounce containers of alcohol that they cannot remove until empty.

"I would say two-thirds of 16- to 20-year-olds are binge drinkers," said James Fell, senior program director at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. "They only drink to get drunk. They drink - males - five or more drinks in two hours, for females four or more drinks within two hours. They drink to get smashed."

The state says drivers under 21 make up about 6 percent of Texas licensed drivers, but are responsible for 12 percent of all alcohol-related fatalities.

Not every young adult arrested for DWI is addicted to alcohol, but treatment would help many underage drinkers avoid full-blown alcoholism .

Crawford, Selwyn, Jennings, Diane, and Spangenberger, Darlean. "Texas' Underage Alcohol Abusers Often Re-offend, Avoid Treatment." DallasNews.Com. 3 January 2011. Web. 4 January 2011.