email correspondence with Inga Glodowski of The Partnership at Their Decoder Blog affirms drug and alcohol-addiction-prevention strategies. My goal is to encourage further Sobriety Pledge participation.

Today would be my sister’s 58th birthday if she had successfully learned how to defeat her 25-year addiction to alcohol. Sadly she did not, so Laura died 4 months and 6 days after her 46th birthday on June 13th from a perforated ulcer which caused toxic peritonitis. The addictive path was my sister’s choice at every turn. Nothing I attempted could save Laura without her total commitment to recovery. I tried my best to be a good brother, and I remain supremely motivated to help other families avoid our heartache if they so choose.

I launched in May of 2006 with a simple mission: to make Laura’s memory matter. We offer hope and help with numerous resources including a Sobriety Pledge webpage. In addition, the Laura Mersereau Memorial Award Essay Contest offers 125 reasons why a Sobriety Pledge could have saved my sister’s life. Students from 24 Portland, Oregon, metro area high schools described how they resisted peer pressure with effective drug / alcohol-refusal techniques.

Joseph A. Califano Jr. in his Columbia University CASA research has concluded nearly 25% of our nation’s college students meet clinical criteria for alcohol and drug abuse or addiction. He also documents research which shows if a youngster reaches 21 without drinking or drugging, the chance for addiction is remote. Enter our Sobriety Pledge. We ask children to honor their minds, bodies and spirits living their dreams without alcohol or drugs. We affirm our current 109 Sobriety Pledge participants, and we encourage hundreds if not thousands more. What better way to say yes to life than with a clear head and a laser-focused plan. Please join us! Laura’s Pledge

Brad Mersereau