In a town hall meeting Tuesday afternoon, speakers from the Early County Family Connection stressed the dangers of underage drinking. They encouraged parents, young people and teachers to get the conversation going to create solutions to the problem.
Alcohol can be harmful to people of any age, but it takes a greater toll on brain development in those under 21 than in any other age group. The meeting comes at a time when teenagers are at a greater risk of using alcohol.
Natalie Smith, Program Coordinator for Early County Family Connection, explains, "Through our data we know that kids who are using alcohol are doing it unsupervised. They're getting it from home, from other friends, from people that are older. Going into the summer, they have a lot more free time and a lot less supervision and this is prime time for underage alcohol use."
Early County Family Connection reports the average age of Early County teenagers when they first try alcohol is before they turn 14.