Washington Aims To Curb Teen Drinking

March 25, 2008

Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna is encouraging residents to take a more proactive approach to curbing underage drinking.

According to state statistics,
• One in 20 sixth-graders will drink alcohol this month
• One in six 8th graders.
• One in three 10th graders (one in five will have five or more drinks in a row).
• Nearly one of every two 12th graders (one in four will have five or more drinks in a row)
• One in four 10th and 12th graders will ride in cars with someone who has been drinking.

Kids who drink before age 15 are 5 times more likely to develop alcohol problems as adults, according to www.starttalkingnow.com. Alcohol affects young, still-developing brains in a way that promotes the progression to addiction.

Consequently, the AG is hosting town hall meetings in roughly 100 communities across the state throughout March and April to discuss underage drinking. The effort is part of a national initiative and community members interested in preventing underage drinking are urged to attend, the AG’s office said.

McKenna is a member of the Washington Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking (RUaD). The town hall meetings, which begin tonight, are sponsored by the RUaD Coalition in partnership with the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and hosted by local organizations and coalitions. The meetings will cover Washington statistics, the negative consequences of underage drinking, how youth drinking affects communities and how people can prevent it.

For a list of town hall meeting dates, locations and times, visit http://www.atg.wa.gov/pressrelease.aspx?&id=19378.

Source: AG

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