Petition 80564

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Keep Children and Youth Free of Alcohol and Other Drugs (80564-C2-R84)

Amend Resolution 84
WHEREAS, O o ur Christian faith calls us to teach and lead children and youth through Jesus’ example . in the right way and; . By His example, we are called to give children special attention enabling them to be free from harm. (Matthew 19:13-15, NRSV) Alarming statistics make it clear that the United States and many other countries have not given the proper attention to the use of alcohol and other drugs by children and youth and that as a society, we tolerate access to alcohol and other drugs by underage young people. For example, it is illegal in most U.S. states to sell or give alcoholic beverages to those under 21, and illicit use and sale of "controlled substances” is a crime at any age, yet , Whereas over more than a third of children begin using alcohol before they are teens ; and  Whereas, one in ten young teens is a regular user of marijuana and other drugs ; and Whereas . Research shows that alcohol and other drugs bring harm to growing bodies and minds. Young people with inner stamina, self-esteem, and a strong and vital faith can more readily say, "no" to alcohol and other drugs. alcohol and drugs bring harm to growing bodies and minds; and Whereas, it is illegal in most states to sell or give alcoholic beverages to those under 21 and illicit use and selling of "controlled" drugs is a crime at any age; and Whereas, To address this critical problem, many schools have instituted programs on alcohol and other drugs. However, the Justice Department reports that many school programs aimed to help young people have not deterred their use of alcohol and other drugs. ; and Whereas, young people with inner stamina, self-esteem, and faith more readily can say,  “no” to drugs and alcohol; Inattention to this critical issue and the failure of many school programs demonstrates the importance of a comprehensive action plan among faith communities to address this crisis.
Therefore, be it resolved, that we, the 2000 General Conference of The United Methodist Church, supports efforts to keep children and youth alcohol free, drug free, and safe from access to illicit drug use. By following a comprehensive approach to this issue that young people can understand the importance of avoiding use of alcohol and other (illicit) drugs to ensure that they have live full and healthy lives. , avoiding use of beverage alcohol and illicit drugs and say "no" to them .  
An Action Plan for the Church to Combat the Use of Alcohol and Other Illicit Drugs Among Children and Youth  
      1.    We call upon individual families to pray for their children and to teach their children by precept and example the preference of avoiding beverage alcohol and illicit drugs and resisting peer pressure s for their use as a commitment to a healthy life and faith.  
    2.    We call upon all people to pray and give moral and financial support to community, church and other efforts to discourage children and teens from the use of alcohol and other drugs.  
    3.    We call upon our local congregations to include in their Christian education programs and their worship services; resources, pray for the children and to include studies, and seminars that emphasize to children and youth the detrimental effects of alcohol and other drugs in their Christian education programs for young people and their families, studies, emphasizing the ill effects of drugs and alcohol and the importance of avoidance of them .  
    4.    We further call upon local congregations to observe an have annual observances of a Drug and Alcohol Awareness Sunday, and to prioritize this issue within the life of the congregation as a way . and to challenge young people and their elders to say "no" as an aspect of their commitment to grow in their Christian faith. Jesus Christ.
    5.    We further call upon local congregations to create a substance abuse ministry incorporating education, resources, and support for prevention and recovery which emphasizes our commitment to healing and love that is free of judgment, particularly as it relates to children and youth.  
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5 . We call upon our fellow citizens and countries to support legislation that will help to curtail availability of alcoholic beverages to youth and to support public programs that help to instill values in young people that will help them to have drug-and-alcohol-free lives.  
7 6 . We call upon other religious bodies to join us in adopting resolutions and supporting efforts to curtail alcohol and drug abuse in our communities, states, and nations.  
8 7 . We direct the General Board of Church and Society and the General Board of Discipleship to develop and promote resource materials to implement this concern within  
the connection.