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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2008
AGO MEDIA ADVISORY: Attorney General Rob McKenna joins statewide effort to curb underage drinking

OLYMPIA—As a member of the Washington Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking-- or RUaD-- Attorney General Rob McKenna will join local leaders in Wenatchee tonight for a special town hall meeting on underage drinking.

WHO:
• Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna
• TOGETHER for Drug Free Youth
• Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant Coordinator Glenna Younkin

WHEN & WHERE:
6 to 8:30 p.m. on March 20, 2008
Wenatchee Community Center 

WHY:
According to the 2006 Washington State Health Youth Survey:
• One in 20 sixth-graders will drink alcohol this month
• One in six 8th graders.
• One in three 10th graders (one in five will have five or more drinks in a row).
• Nearly one of every two 12th graders (one in four will have five or more drinks in a row)
• One in four 10th and 12th graders will ride in cars with someone who has been drinking.

Kids who drink before age 15 are 5 times more likely to develop alcohol problems as adults.  Alcohol affects young, still-developing brains in a way that promotes the progression to addiction. (source: www.starttalkingnow.com)

WHAT:
Throughout March and April, roughly 100 communities across Washington will come together at town hall meetings to discuss underage drinking. The effort is part of a national initiative and community members interested in preventing underage drinking are urged to attend.

Sponsored by the RUaD Coalition in partnership with the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and hosted by local organizations and coalitions, the meetings will cover Washington statistics, the negative consequences of underage drinking, how youth drinking affects communities and how people can prevent it. A complete list of hosts, dates, times and locations can be found here.

Additional information can be found at www.StartTalkingNow.org.

The RUaD Coalition is made up of 24 state, local, and non-profit partners-- including the Attorney General-- dedicated to reducing underage drinking.

For more information about McKenna's work in this area, visit the Attorney General's  Discouraging Underage Drinking Web site.

--30--

Contact:
Janelle Guthrie, AG Communications Director, (360) 586-0725, janelleg@atg.wa.gov

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