Underage Drinking. Binge drinking and parental attitudes are part of the problem.
Alcohol is the drug of choice among youth. Many teens and young adults are experiencing the dangerous consequences of drinking too much, at too early an age. As a result, underage drinking is a leading public health problem in our country.
Each year, about 5,000 young people under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking -- including about 1,900 deaths from motor vehicle crashes, 1,600 from homicides, 300 from suicides, as well as hundreds from other injuries such as falls, burns, and drownings, according to the National Institute on Health.
In Palm Beach County, there’s a particular problem: teens prefer to drink alcohol at the homes of other people. That means, they are generally drinking at the homes of adults who either permit underage drinking, turn a blind eye to it, or simply aren’t aware of it. In turn, many teens are getting the message that it’s acceptable to drink.
Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition’s Underage Drinking Task Force is confronting the issue by:
Educating parents about house parties. It’s unlawful for parents to permit underage drinking in their homes, even if they think that it’s a way to keep their minor children and their friends in a perceived safe location.
Teaching college-age youth about binge drinking. Drinking several drinks in close succession can lead to alcohol poisoning, liver disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and other forms of cardiovascular disease.
Publicizing 877 Means 21. The toll-free phone number is used to report establishments or parents serving minors.
Interested in getting involved with the Prescription Drugs Task Force? Please call Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition at 561-844-5952 or contact Executive Director Jeff Kadel at firstname.lastname@example.org.