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Underage drinking is topic at tonight’s town hall meeting

Teens drink less often than adults, but when they do drink they tend to drink more than adults. Underage drinking occasions occur more often than not in a social setting where there are two or more present.
Alcohol obtained by teens is often provided by adults, some who see drinking as a ‘rite of passage.’
The dangers of underage drinking are so important that a special Town Hall Meeting, will be tonight from 6 to 8:15 p.m. at the Richmond Middle School Commons, located at 715 S. Wellington Street. The town hall meeting is sponsored by Northland Coalition with support from Tri-County Mental Health Services. The meeting will be an exchange of information and ideas on how to best address the challenge of underage drinking in the Northland. A complimentary dinner will be provided.
According to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, most six year olds know that alcohol is for adults. However, between the ages of nine and 13, youth begin to think that alcohol use is O.K. if they see adults in their own lives doing so. Advocates say it’s never too early for parents to talk about the dangers of underage drinking to their children.
Statistics show that underage drinkers consume around five drinks on one occasion, also known as binge drinking. This is a serious practice as it can lead to dangerous circumstances and even death.
Tricare’s Web site, www.tricare.mil indicates, “underage drinking is the leading health concern in the United States, with more than 10 million children drinking each year. More young people consume alcohol than tobacco or illicit drugs, which often leads to deadly consequences.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, underage drinking and driving claims approximately 5.000 lives of young people under the age of 21.
Topics will include the importance of positive role models, parent and adult responsibility, working with the school and communities, and being involved in the lives of teens.

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