News Release Listing
Contact: Deb Schnellman, 360-725-3763,
April 13, 2012
Local communities pull together to prevent underage drinking
OLYMPIA – April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and 73 Washington communities are using Town Hall Meetings to raise awareness and mobilize efforts to prevent underage drinking.
For information about meetings in your community, go to Town Hall Meetings 2012
Underage use of alcohol is a pressing public health concern that affects the health and well-being of our youth, their families and our communities. Physical and sexual assault, traffic fatalities, suicide, brain impairment, academic problems, alcohol dependence and alcohol poisoning are some of the costly health and social problems resulting from underage drinking. According to the Centers for Disease Control, underage drinking cost the citizens of Washington $1.4 billion in 2007.
In 2010, 14 percent of eighth graders, 28 percent of 10th graders, and 40 percent of high school seniors reported using alcohol in the past 30 days. Heavy and problem drinking were indicated for nine percent of eighth graders, 18 percent of 10th graders, and 28 percent of 12th graders - 2010 WA Healthy Youth Survey. Those who start drinking by the age of 15 are five times more likely to have alcohol problems as adults.
The Town Hall Meetings are funded by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and supported by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services' Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery - DBHR and the Washington State Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking. RUaD is co-chaired by Michael Langer, DBHR, and Sharon Foster, Liquor Control Board.
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