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Decline in alcohol use not seen locally

The Essex County 2007 Youth Risk behavior Survey results revealed that lifetime alcohol use for all high school students was similar to that of comparable students in New York State and the nation. The Essex County 30-day alcohol use rate was 59.9 percent, the New York State rate was 47.3 and the national rate was 43.3 percent. Those rates were the same for binge drinking, defined as five or more drinks in a row within a couple of hours.

While underage drinking is not endemic to Essex County, Essex County's alcohol use rates are consistently higher than there state and national peers. While youth are experiencing the risks associated with underage drinking, they alone will not resolve this dangerous problem. Adults will largely determine the course of underage drinking in Essex County. Both by example and in dedicating time and resources to address the issue. Remember, all kids count.

Scot Hurlburt can be reached by e-mail at hurlburt@wildblue.net

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