Program targets underage drinking

The meeting is part of a countywide effort.

SALEM — A program will help set the stage for Columbiana County’s effort to fight chemical abuse.

The Family Recovery Center in Lisbon is having a town hall program to confront local drinking by adolescents.

The meeting will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Oxford House, 320 Benton Road.

Eloise Traina, executive director of the recovery center, said Wednesday the effort is a response to the Surgeon General’s report on the effects of underage drinking.

“Tactic approval is only too common among adults in our communities,” she said.

The center is working with the county’s Mental Health and Recovery Services Board to help fight the county’s growing drug and alcohol problem.

Statistics say that 38 percent of 10th-graders in the county in 2007 had used alcohol and drugs in the last 30 days.

Other statistics showed that 23 percent of those 10th-graders showed had smoked marijuana in the last year.

And, some 64 percent of adults in the county in 2006 reported that underage drinking is a big problem in their communities.

The meeting will look at why youths drink, the risks, parental responsibilities, and the consequences for both youths and adults.

The program will include talks from doctors and law enforcement officials. Magistrate Scott Washam of county juvenile court will discuss the responsibilities of parents and the community.

The program will end with a discussion on what can be done to solve the problem.

Kathleen Chaffee, associate director of the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, has said that programs that help keep youths and young adults from drinking prevent damage to their still-developing brains.

The program in Salem will lead to a larger program of a proposed drug and alcohol coalition informational meeting at 7:45 a.m. April 25 at Das Dutch House Restaurant in Columbiana.

The speakers will be Kristin Gish, project director for the Drug Free Action Alliance of Ohio; and county Prosecutor Robert Herron, who began to warn the county about its growing drug problem.

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