Town Hall seeks ideas to address underage drinking

“Town Hall Meeting: Action 2010” will discuss steps to take to address underage drinking.

The public meeting is set for 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 31, in Room E-126 at the Downriver Campus of Wayne County Community College District, 21000 Northline Road, Taylor.

The meeting is sponsored by the Clean Up Your Act/Stop Underage Drinking Downriver, based out of The Guidance Center, and the Taylor Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force.

The forum is funded by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. SAMHSA planned to have more than 1,000 town hall meetings about underage drinking during March.

Meeting organizers are soliciting thoughts and concerns from the public.

“The primary purpose is to reduce underage drinking,” said Jeremy Waechter, a substance abuse prevention counselor with the Taylor Teen Health Center and the Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force. “Through that purpose, we want to bring the community together around the issue and create concrete plans to bring together the community - parents, youth, schools and business - to reduce underage drinking.”

Waechter said that in one year, 142,701 alcohol-related emergency department visits reported to SAMHSA’s Drug Abuse Warning Network system were made by patients ages 12 to 20. SAMHSA reported that a new national survey showed that more than 25 percent of that same age group drank alcohol in the past month.

For more information, contact Waechter at the Taylor Teen Health Center, (734) 942-2273, Ext. 5, or Lisa Horvath at The Guidance Center, (734) 785-7705, Ext. 7112.