Underage Drinking Targeted in Missouri Communities

Underage drinking is becoming an increasingly important issue throughout Missouri, especially in the wake of a new study that shows surprising results. The Youth Risk Behavior Survey reveals that about two in five Missouri teens have consumed alcohol within the past 30 days. This behavior is dangerous because it could lead to an underage drunk driving charge, which can have serious consequences even for a first offense. The study showed that about 8 percent of the youngsters had driven after drinking, while a quarter had ridden with a driver who had consumed alcohol.

The new information has prompted residents in Joplin, Missouri, to take action against underage drinking. Law enforcement officers from the surrounding areas are meeting with the public to brainstorm ideas for reducing the prevalence of underage drinking in the region. Involving families and other local residents is critical, according to officers, because many parents will actually provide alcohol for children who are partying at their homes.

Additional studies reveal that underage drinkers actually consume more alcohol than adults who are 21 or over. In fact, more than one in five teens engaged in binge drinking in the past month, according to the results of the most recent survey. Alcohol has been deemed the most common drug of abuse for young people, with about 4,300 deaths annually related to the substance.

Parents are encouraged to know where their children are going when they attend parties. Family members are often the first line of defense against underage drinking and other consequences including criminal charges. Law enforcement officers in the communities surrounding Joplin say they are committed to developing programs to prevent the rapid rise in underage drinking that is affecting the area.

Source: Fourstateshomepage.com, “Youth Risk Behavior Survey Shows Increase in Underage Drinking” Allie Woldtvedt, May. 02, 2014

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