Local advocates against underage drinking are set to host a town hall meeting at Iron Horse Middle School in San Ramon Tuesday night (May 20) to discuss strategies for preventing youths from consuming alcohol.
The event is presented by the San Ramon Valley Alcohol Policy Coalition, in collaboration with the Community Against Substance Abuse and Friday Night Live Monte Vista High School Chapter.
Scheduled to run from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the school at 12601 Alcosta Blvd., the town hall is open to parents, students and any concerned community members.
Organizers said the event would touch on a variety of topics, including current community data, an overview of existing policies, stories from people negatively affected by underage drinking and scientific findings about the impact of alcohol on adolescent brain development. There will also be a roundtable discussion to determine policy actions and strategies moving forward.
Patty Hoyt, alcohol policy coordinator for the Discovery Counseling Center in Danville, said the town hall would include information about the California Healthy Kids Survey administered by the San Ramon Valley Unified School District every October.
"In that survey, 26% of 11th-graders and 11% of ninth-graders report having had at least one drink in the past 30 days," Hoyt added. "The survey also found that 15% of 11th-graders report binge-drinking (five or more drinks in a row) in the last 30 days."
Underage drinking, Hoyt said, can contribute to a range of health and social issues, including traffic fatalities, suicide, physical and sexual assault, brain impairment, alcohol dependence, academic struggles, and alcohol and drug poisoning.
For more information, visit the Discovery Counseling Center website.