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Sat, Dec. 14

Attorney General speaks to Mingus High students
Goddard sends message to stay away from drugs

Some state officials came to Mingus Union High School Monday morning with a message.

The message stated clearly by State Rep. Lucy Mason: "We want you to live."

Mason introduced Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard. But before she turned the podium over, she had some comments of her own.

"We're very concerned about teen drivers," Mason said. She told about five teenagers from Williams dying when their car hit a tree. Drugs were found in the vehicle.

"Three weeks ago in Prescott we lost another teenager," she said. A good kid, a 17-year-old boy tried heroin for the first time. He tried it, according to Mason, only once. It killed him.

She said the state is trying to address the problems with teenage drivers. "We want you to live with good choices," she said.

Goddard also spoke about the dangers of underage use of alcohol and methamphetamine. He said that using meth and alcohol directly affects a teenager's future, but not just from the dangers of driving under the influence.

Teens who use alcohol and drugs are far more likely to end up committing crimes, according to Goddard. He said young people in Arizona tend to use alcohol at a rate twice that of the national average. Those teens are more likely to end up in prison for a felony conviction.

"There are 36,000 people currently serving felony sentences in Arizona prisons," Goddard said.

Being involved in alcohol and drugs has consequences, Goddard said. About 5,000 young people die every year in the United States from drinking and driving. "It touches us all, way too close, way too often," he said.

"By saying no, you're effectively saying yes to life's possibilities," Goddard said.

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