Popularity doesn't require alcohol

So often we look to people that wreck their lives abusing alcohol and then become sober to provide insight into abating such issues as underage drinking or drinking and driving. Instead, I thought it might be interesting to hear from someone that navigated the vicissitudes of high school without using alcohol.

Tyler Blaise has the rugged looks you might imagine finding in a football quarterback. In fact, Tyler did quarterback the Moriah football team that went undefeated and to the state finals where they experienced their first loss of the year. Tyler is a member of the National Honor Society and has also participated in a variety of community events including a stint as Santa Claus at the Lee House.

I asked Tyler if there was a conscious moment where he decided to maintain his sobriety.

"I learned early on in life by watching other people that alcohol can make your life difficult," he said. "I was told by my parents, teachers, my Uncle Don and Aunt Barbara to be careful around alcohol."

I asked Tyler if it had been difficult to maintain a non-use posture while many of his peers were using alcohol.

"Sure, I have been tempted many times to just be part of what was happening," he said. "I have always taken sports very seriously; I never wanted to let my team or myself down for any reason, including alcohol. Sports gave me an important reason not to drink."

"You always have a choice; you don't have to follow what everyone else is doing," he added. "My real friends will support me no matter what my decision is. Some of my friends have invited me to use alcohol at different times but I always brushed it off as a joke. People know me and at this point and it is not a big deal."

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