East Texas coalitions fight against high underage drinking rates

Local News

School is out and summer is here. And so is the seasonal rise in underage drinking.

With May, June, and July being some of the busiest months for establishments that sell alcohol.

“When you’re in the prom season, you’re in the end of high school and that’s the main part and even college when they have graduation,” said one liquor store owner. “There’s still a lot of younger people that aren’t 21 yet that are hanging around for graduation time for their friends, maybe they’re sophomores or juniors in college, so we are in the height of we’ll say the ‘minor season.'”

Some are trying to pass off fake ID’s, others are asking legal adults to purchase it for them. Either way. it’s a serious problem in our area.

“Our region here, region 4, which is a 23 county area we have some of the highest underage drinking in our area,” said Harold Wombel with the Community Coalition Partnerships. “The Texas school survey shows right now that we have 58% of our youth that have used alcohol.”

Wombel says we are are higher than the average rate across Texas. Which is why several coalitions came together Monday to train on how to better get the word out.

Texans Standing Tall, a non-profit organization provided the training to several different organizations at the ETCADA offices. They say they work statewide across Texas to address youth substance use issues.

“They are kind of showing us the step-by-step process of what to do to go into the community and work with our community members to get them involved in the process of putting a policy into place,” said Nathaniel Olson with ETCADA.

A policy they hope will bring down our dangerously high numbers.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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