SAN DIEGO - An addiction expert says she'd like to see tougher punishments for adults who let minors drink in light of a massive house party in Rancho Santa Fe over the weekend.
Nancy Knott, an interventionist at the Scripps Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center, says wild parties like the one in Rancho Santa Fe are the norm.
Deputies said about 200 people were at Saturday's party in the 17400 block of Los Morros. One person was stabbed and taken to a local hospital to be treated. Another was hit with a Taser by deputies and several minors were arrested for underage drinking.
Knott says most times, adults are there condoning it. She believes it is happening more often in San Diego County for several reasons. For example, she says parents are treating their children as equals.
"Unfortunately, the division of who's the parent and who's the child continues to shrink," she said.
Knott says the teens attending these parties are not facing any consequence.
"There is again a sense of entitlement that goes on that says 'me and mine, my situation is different, my child knows better' when in reality, this is how we lose kids," she said.
Lastly, Knott believes parents do not consider alcohol to be a big deal.
"Would this parent or any parent in this community allow their child to use heroin or use coke? Of course not. But alcohol is just as deadly, if not more, because it's used with more regularity," she said.
Knott added, "We have an epidemic of apathy in San Diego County regarding parties, regarding looking the other way, regarding slaps on the hands."
The homeowner where Saturday's party was held was cited for violating the Social Host Ordinance.
"The Social Host Ordinance was put in place to protect the community from itself almost," said Knott.
However, she said what good is the ordinance if it does not stop parents from turning a blind eye.
"A $1,000 fine or six months in jail, God forbid, if it's the second time they are caught," said Knott. "I'm sorry. What is the penalty in California for attempted murder? That is exactly what I consider any parent who allows alcohol be served to underage kids driving or not."
10News tried to speak with the homeowner but was not able to reach them.
Knott says she would be willing to be part of a push to get stricter punishments added to the ordinance.
The Scripps Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center will host a free seminar on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. to help parents understand what is happening with kids, drugs and alcohol in the community. You can find more information by clicking here.