Underage drinking forum focus of GCASA meeting tonight in Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 April 2014 at 12:00 am

MEDINA – Community members are welcome to attend a forum about underage drinking tonight at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library in Medina.

The Orleans United Drug Free Communities Coalition will lead the meeting, which begins at 6:45 p.m. The coalition is part of the Genesee-Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse.

Medina Police Chief Jose Avila will speak during the forum, which will include participation from the coalition members.

A survey of high schoolers at four of the five school districts in Orleans County showed that 25 percent report they binge drink, said Patricia Crowley, project director for GCASA.

“We all know it’s going on more than the statistics say,” Crowley said. “These are kids who are drinking to get drunk.”

She welcomed students and their parents to attend tonight’s forum at the library, 620 West Ave.

“We want to hear from the kids about what they hear and see,” Crowley said.

The coalition also wants to talk to parents. Many are permissive in allowing children to drink alcohol and host drinking parties. The survey in 2013 of 6th through 12th showed that 46 percent of students in those ages drink alcohol at home with their parents’ permission.

Crowley said the coalition’s goal is to educate community members about underage drinking consequences and empower communities to use evidence-based approaches to stop underage drinking.

Tonight’s meeting will also include an appearance by “Kye,” Medina’s K-9 that is used in tracking, drug detection, building searches and criminal apprehension.