New coalition forms in hopes of curtailing teen drinkingPublished 6:04pm Tuesday, July 8, 2014
The new youth advisory board was welcomed into their position Tuesday afternoon at a luncheon. The Tallapoosa County Coalition Against Underage Drinking is also known as Tallapoosa County C.A.R.E.S. (Community Advocates for Responsible Environments). The Coalition, planning committee and youth advisory board have joined forces to actively prevent underage drinking in Tallapoosa County.
“I can sit here all day long and say I know where kids are getting it, but there’s no way I can say I know better than they do,” said Debbie Campbell, the Tallapoosa County coalition coordinator for underage drinking. “They’re next door to or walking down the hallway with these guys.”
Campbell reported new statistics revealed that Tallapoosa County ranked third highest in incidents of underage drinking in the state of Alabama. Under the guidance of the coalition and planning committee, the new youth advisory board will work together to bring ideas forth in the community to prevent underage drinking. Seven students were nominated to the youth advisory board by the principals of their respective schools or coalition members and community leaders.
Britney Rice, Landon Peters, Shauna Johnston, Caleb Brooks, Scout Treadwell, Connor Johnston and Kevin James accepted their nominations to the board.
“I decided to accept the nomination because I’ve always wanted to make sure my friends and the people around me aren’t drinking,” Rice said. “Just being able to say, ‘Hey, I’m here, and I know the things that you shouldn’t be doing,’ will maybe influence them.”
Johnston, Rice, Brooks and Peters all agreed that their main goal was to make a difference in the number of underage drinking incidents in Tallapoosa County.
“There’s a lot of friends I know that drink, and I’d rather see them graduate with me,” Peters said.
“To have fun, you don’t have to have alcohol,” Rice said.
Campbell said that although the problem cannot be completely eradicated, the coalition was formed to prevent as much of it as they can.