May 8, 2014, Snow Hill, Md. - Over 80 parents, youth, educators, school administrators, and representatives from prevention, behavioral health, law enforcement, non-profits, and interested community members attended the Town Hall type meeting held on Monday, May 5th at Stephen Decatur High School. Underage binge drinking was the topic discussed and was sponsored by the Worcester County Health Department, the Worcester County Public Schools and the Stephen Decatur Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Club.
This program was initiated by a sub-committee (Strategic Prevention Framework Process Team) of the Worcester County Drug and Alcohol Council and has been meeting for several years to examine underage drinking. A needs assessment found that binge drinking among youth was a major concern. A slide presentation showed data that ranked Worcester County third in the State of Maryland for adult binge drinking. Focus groups with young people raised concern that this practice of over consumption has trickled down to the youth. Also, local surveys found that many youth are accessing alcohol through their family and friends and that social availability needs to be considered in efforts to reduce youth abuse of alcohol.
The audience was given the opportunity to ask questions of the experts representing education, law enforcement, and public health and make suggestions for ways to better protect our youth from lifelong problems associated with substance use. There were information tables with representatives from the Ocean City Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Committee, the Ocean City Elks Lodge, the SADD Club, and the Suicide Prevention Program. Many of the attendees completed the call to action cards and expressed interest in being involved in further such efforts.
Call Marty Pusey, 410-632-0056, for further information or to get involved.