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Parent's Worst Nightmare - Written by my mother

Every parent's worst nightmare is getting that middle-of-the-night phone call with news that something bad has happened to your child. I have had more than my fair share of those calls.

"Your son was in a bad car accident and was taken by ambulance to the ICU. He has four fractured vertebrae in his neck." (Preceding event: a night of bar hopping and "bar" popping in Boulder.)

"Your son was pulled over by the Dillon police, and they want to arrest him on an outstanding warrant in Boulder." (Preceding event: a late-night meal with a few beers and shots after a day of snowboarding. Luckily, the police in that ski town did not have jurisdiction to arrest him on a Boulder warrant, and he didn't get a DUI.)

"Mom, I passed out at Red Rocks and I was taken to the medical tent. I couldn't stand up on my own, so they called an ambulance to take me to the ER." (Preceding event: drinking on an empty stomach at an EDM concert.)

I've received other calls as well. The thing is, I live 1,600 miles away from my son in Colorado. So in emergencies like those, there's not a lot I can do but feel helpless and worried.

Evenings can be fraught with danger for substance abusers and the families that love them. Activities often revolve around drinking or doing drugs, and if your kid loves concerts and music festivals, as mine does, those venues can be triggers for their worst impulses.

But when you know he has a daily 8:30 p.m. support group meeting, and he's hanging out with sober friends before and after, it helps take away the constant concern.

That's why Sober Colorado Kids is such a great idea. Organize activities everyone loves, but get naturally high on the hiking, or beauty of the mountains, or the music without using substances to embellish the experience. SCK makes a lot of sense, not only for those who join in its sober meetups, but for the moms and dads who live in fear of getting woken up at 3 a.m. by the sound of their phones.

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