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Local group addresses underage drinking problem

Substance abuse and binge drinking are some of the topics that will be discussed at a meeting of the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County today from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Silver Springs High School gymnasium.

As part of the program, area youth will lead a town hall discussion on binge drinking, said coalition program director Tasha Senn. It’s part of a nationwide effort in March to spread awareness of the problem, she added. The town hall meeting starts at 5 p.m.

Cliff Newell, Nevada County district attorney, also will make a presentation about children and alcohol.



The problem of underage drinking in Nevada County came into the spotlight in January, when 14 winter sports athletes from Bear River High School were suspended after attending a party in Granite Bay where alcohol was consumed.

Last week, the county District Attorney’s office filed charges against a mother who allegedly provided alcohol to the minors.




“It’s not legal to give minors alcohol,” said Newell, a member of the coalition’s law enforcement action group. “It’s irresponsible for adults to supply alcohol to minors. My office will follow through on these kinds of charges.”

According to the California Healthy Kids Survey, “50 percent of Nevada County’s high school youth consumed alcohol within the past 30 days, and 70 percent state that alcohol is easily accessible,” wrote Senn in a recent column for The Union.

Most teens get alcohol from ‘social’ sources including parents, parents of other teens, older siblings and other relatives and friends, Senn said.

The mission of the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County is to address substance abuse among young people by looking at and minimizing social factors that contribute to the problem.

Silver Springs High School is located at 140 Park Ave., Grass Valley.

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To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail ssen@theunion.com or call 477-4229.


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