Town Hall meeting planned to discuss alcohol, drug use by Decatur studentsDecatur parents and community members listen during a forum at Decatur High to discuss teenage “risky behaviors.” File Photo by Mariann Martin
By Mary Margaret Stewart, contributor
In conjunction with Decatur’s Alcohol Awareness Month, the Decatur Prevention Initiative (DPI) is holding a town hall meeting on Thursday, April 28 at 7 p.m. at Ebster Recreation Center, located at 404 W. Trinity Place, Decatur, GA, 30030.
DPI was created with a vision “to promote a healthy Decatur community, free of the negative effects of alcohol and other drugs on youth and families.”
After Decatur’s results from an annual survey of Decatur High and Renfroe Middle School students reflected an increase in involvement with drug and alcohol use since the 2013-14 school year, DPI called a meeting of “local representation from law enforcement, schools and parents, to engage in a solution-focused discussion.”
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According to the survey results:
Twenty-nine percent of 10th graders and 45 percent of 12th graders reported having consumed alcohol in the past 30 days. Seventeen percent of 10th graders and 27 percent of 12th graders reported binge drinking in the past 30 days. Nineteen percent of our seniors report having ridden in a vehicle with someone who was drinking alcohol in the last 30 days.
The Town Hall will encourage community members to consider how they “impact underage drinking and drug use.”
Here is the agenda for Thursday’s Town Hall meeting:
– A brief look at local rates and how we compare to other areas
– Join a discussion of “Why here and why now?” and help drive local efforts
– Learn about research-based strategies to effect community-level change
– Discover how you can become part of the solution in this community, regardless of parental status or age of children
– Tips for getting your children to talk about this issue and strategies to guide them to healthy choices
In addition, DPI Director Terrie Moore said that DPI-issued Decatur parent survey has yielded a “great response,” and results will be shared at the upcoming meeting. The parent survey is available at www.surveymonkey.com/r/decaturparent.
All are welcome at the meeting. For more information, visit www.noneunder21.org.
Editor’s note: Mary Margaret Stewart is a Decatur High senior who will be interning with Decaturish.com this summer.