POINT PLEASANT — Underage drinking is often a problem that flies under the radar.
The Mason County Anti-Drug Coalition will be hosting a Town Hall meeting to address this issue at 6 p.m., Thursday, May 15, in the Trinity Community Christian Center located directly behind Trinity United Methodist Church.
In addition to being held to raise awareness of the seriousness of the underage drinking problem within the nation, this forum will deliver prevention messages to community leaders, public officials, parents, educators, business leaders and underage youth themselves.
Although it is illegal in all 50 States and the District of Columbia for anyone under the age of 21 years of age to buy or publicly possess alcohol, more than 80 percent of all high school seniors have consumed alcohol. While that statistic is staggering, what is more troubling to many is the latest reports identify the average age of a child’s drinking experience is 11 years of age for boys and 13 years of age for girls.
It is the hope of the Mason County Anti-Drug Coalition this meeting will assist in identifying the physical and emotional toll alcohol consumption can have on young people, the legal consequences of teens possessing and consuming alcohol, the legal consequences for providing alcohol to minors, and the extent to which alcohol is available to our nation’s youth.
“Underage drinking is a serious problem and affects us all, unfortunately at times in the most tragic ways,” said coalition member Lauri Johnson. “This program is being held before the Memorial Day holiday and graduation season for a reason. It is the Coalition’s hope to educate people that underage drinking is not a rite of passage, but in fact a ticket for potential disaster. We have lost enough young people to recent tragic events, we do not want to lose any more.”