Meridian Star

October 5, 2013

ER nurse to stress impact of underage drinking

Special to The Star
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Like a scene out of the latest television medical drama, a patient is whisked through large swinging doors with bright lights and a team of doctors and nurses rush the patient through the hospital halls and into the emergency room. Unfortunately, this picture isn’t from a television program – this was reality for Linda Dutil.  

    In her years as an emergency room nurse, Dutil has seen both accident victims and teens who wound up in the ER due to their own deliberate acts.

    In her presentation, A Taste of Reality, to students on Monday at Calvary Christian School, Dutil will give students a unique real-life look into what happens when poor choices are played out and an individual ends up in the ER.

    Her eye-opening and interactive A Taste of Reality program includes both demonstrations of actual ER procedures and emotional stories of teens who have made poor choices about underage drinking and drug use.  Dutil shares with her audiences the consequences of these poor decisions and the importance of developing healthy attitudes about life.

    Dutil’s visit is sponsored by Mitchell Distributing, the local Anheuser-Busch wholesaler, as part of the company’s commitment to help prevent underage drinking.  

    “We’re pleased to bring Linda and her unique program to Meridian," said Anna Grace Ward, Communications Manager for Mitchell Companies. "We hope students will remember her message when it comes to making smart, safe decisions.”

    For years as an ER nurse, Dutil witnessed and tended to the tragic consequences of bad decisions made by teens. Ultimately, she left her job as an ER nurse and became dedicated to preventing these situations from reoccurring.      Linda developed a program drawing from her experience in the ER to show students that they have the power to make good choices, including resisting peer pressure and not drinking when underage.

    During the presentation, Dutil recites the stories of the young patients she’s treated in the ER, details medical procedures and gives students a hands-on look at the actual medical equipment: tubes, blades, IV equipment, and charcoal solution used during emergency room treatments.  

    “My goal isn’t to scare students, but I want to make them aware of the potential consequences of making poor choices,” Dutil said. “I reach students not by preaching or reciting statistics, but by providing an insider’s look into what happens when young people choose to become involved in underage drinking or drug use. I remind students that they – and they alone – have the power to resist peer pressure and to make good decisions that will keep them safe.”  

    For 10 years, Linda has toured the country, reaching hundreds of thousands of students with her powerful message.

    Since 1982, Anheuser-Busch and its wholesalers have invested more than $930 million in national advertising campaigns and community-based programs to promote responsible drinking and prevent alcohol abuse, according to a press release. In 2008, for the fifth year in a row, the company ranked first in the beverage industry for social responsibility in FORTUNE magazine’s “America’s Most Admired Companies” and “Global Most Admired Companies.”  

    Mitchell Distributing has warehouse locations in Meridian, Leland, Columbus and Tupelo.