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Education

South High to host meeting about underage drinking

DOWNERS GROVE – The Community Coalition for Prevention will host a town hall meeting on underage drinking this April in Downers Grove Township to recognize National Alcohol Awareness month.

The Community Coalition for Prevention’s meeting, “Parties to Prom: Should Parents Care about Underage Drinking?” will be from 7 to 9 p.m. April 22 in the cafetorium at Downers Grove South High School.

The event is open to all community members and features guest speaker Rob Castillo and a panel of community representatives to address the pressures and consequences of underage drinking.

In 2012, 41 percent of high school seniors in the U.S. drank alcohol during an average month. In Downers Grove Township, this percentage was even higher, with 47 percent of seniors reporting use in the last 30 days, as reported on the 2012 Illinois Youth Survey, according to a press release.

“Drinking alcohol is particularly dangerous for teenagers because they are still learning how to make responsible decisions and alcohol impairs judgment,” according to the press release. “Teens who drink are more likely to engage in risky behaviors like unprotected sex and driving under the influence.”

Underage drinking is associated with an increased risk of negative outcomes like poor academic performance, violence and sexual assault and serious car crashes and fatalities. In 2010, underage drinking cost the state of Illinois $2.9 billion in legal costs, medical bills and other funds that went towards the aftermath of adolescent alcohol use, according to the release.

For information on SAMHSA town hall meetings, visit www.stopalcoholabuse.gov/townhallmeetings/

For any questions about the event, contact Lauren Aramburu, prevention specialist at Downers Grove Township, at 630-719-6684.

To learn more about underage drinking in your community, review the past Illinois Youth Survey results by visiting http://iys.cprd.illinois.edu/.

The event is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), bringing together community leaders and residents to discuss the problem of underage drinking in their community and work together to find solutions.

Now in its 28th year, National Alcohol Awareness month encourages families and communities to reflect on the societal and health effects of alcohol consumption and promote drinking prevention for adolescents.

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