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Coalition releases PSA on impact of underage drinking

By KTVZ.COM news sources
Published On: Sep 10 2013 04:51:01 PM CDT
BEND, Ore. -

The Shared Future Coalition has released their second public service announcement, which reminds adults about the laws and science related to underage drinking.

The PSA is part of a larger grassroots awareness campaign designed to reduce underage and binge drinking among young adults. The Shared Future Coalition is a group of community stakeholders whose mission is to foster the legal and safe use of alcohol in Deschutes County.

The Coalition’s video reminds adults that furnishing alcohol to minors is not only illegal, but is also harmful to adolescent brain development. The public service announcement (available at www.sharedfuturecoalition.org/education/underage-drinking) portrays prison inmates scolding an adult for providing alcohol to teens.

They cite research which indicates that our brains are not fully developed until the mid- to late twenties, and that alcohol impacts the structure and function of the brain.

In fact, a 2009 study at the University of California-San Diego showed that even occasional binge drinking episodes (defined as 5 or more drinks in two hours for males, and 4 or more drinking in two hours for females) damage nerve tissue in the adolescent brain. Other studies have shown that, in particular, alcohol dependency impacts the hippocampus—a part of the brain important for learning and memory.

According to the 2012 Oregon Student Wellness Survey, teens in Deschutes County primarily get their alcohol from friends, at parties, or from home (with or without permission), rather than from alcohol retailers. Nationally, more than 90 percent of the alcohol youth drink is while binge drinking.

Providing alcohol to minors may come with legal consequences. Oregon Revised Statutes prohibit anyone, except a parent or legal guardian, from providing alcohol to a minor or juvenile. A parent cannot transfer this responsibility to another adult or provide alcohol in a public place. If you allow your property and/or home to be used for a party where minors, other than your minor child(ren), consume alcohol in your presence, you may have to forfeit property and may be issued a criminal citation. Convictions will result in fines, and even jail time for repeat offenders.

The Shared Future Coalition meets the first Wednesday of every month and new members are welcome. Anyone in Deschutes County can also help promote the coalition’s awareness campaign by signing up to share messages, "Like" the Facebook page, and follow the weekly blog. For more information, please contact Deschutes County Health Services Coalition Coordinator Julie Spackman at (541) 388-6619 or send email to julie.spackman@deschutes.org

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