Healthy Community Coalition pledges support of the Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking
June 21, 2007
Healthy Community Coalition Program Coordinators Lisa Laflin (first row, first from the left) and Nicole Ditata (first row, second from the left) support the Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent Underage Drinking at a press conference June 11 at the Statehouse. First Lady Karen Baldacci hosted the Surgeon General (first row, in center) on his visit to Maine, and lead the collective response to underage drinking, pledging, "Count ME in!"
Healthy Community Coalition (HCC) is joining U.S. Surgeon General Kenneth Moritsugu’s Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking. At a press conference with the Surgeon General in Augusta, HCC program coordinators Lisa Laflin and Nicole Ditata pointed out that underage drinking is a major public health and safety issue in the Greater Franklin Region.
According to the 2006 MaineYouth Drug and Alcohol Use Survey, in Franklin County, more than 35% of youth in grades 6-12 reported use of alcohol in the past 30 days, and almost 20% of youth in grades 6-12 reported binge drinking in the past two weeks (defined as five or more alcoholic drinks at one time).
Laflin said "The Surgeon General’s report calls for support from all facets of the community – youth, parents and grandparents, teachers, retailers, law enforcement and more. We welcome that recommendation as it focuses on the work that we are doing at the local level, and we encourage more adults and youth to join us in this effort."
The Healthy Community Coalition is actively involved in efforts to reduce underage drinking. HCC works closely with area youth to develop resiliency, and has recently convened a Workgroup with representatives from many sectors, including clergy, schools, substance abuse treatment programs, and advocacy organizations to develop a five year strategic plan to address substance use and abuse in Greater Franklin County, including underage drinking.
Community members are invited to help in HCC’s efforts to reduce underage drinking in Greater Franklin County by joining in HCC’s initiatives, building awareness of the issue in our community, actively participating in children’s lives, and assuring adequate enforcement of underage drinking laws.
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