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National Guard Counters Alcohol with Teach-Ins

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April 18, 2005 – The Virgin Islands National Guard Counterdrug Task Force will be holding "Reach Out Now" Teach-Ins on St. Croix April 18-22 to lead discussions with fifth and sixth grade students on the harmful effects of underage drinking during Alcohol Awareness Week. Reach Out Now is a nationwide event.
"Children in our community need to know how to reject underage alcohol use and how potentially damaging underage drinking is to their health today and tomorrow," said Teach-In facilitator Senior Airman Mellonie Adams-Tutein. Though she will visit several schools during the week, St. Mary's is true to her heart. She is an alumnus of the Class of 1984.
Drug Demand Reduction (DDR) facilitators will visit St. Mary's School Tuesday April 19 to discuss why and how young people can avoid alcohol use. The Task Force works in collaboration with the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Program Administrator Senior Master Sergeant Neville Lee said researchers have found that 25 percent of children ages 12-20 have illegally consumed alcohol. Also national statistics indicate that by the eight grade, nearly 50 percent of adolescents have had at least one drink and over 20 percent have been drunk.
The mission of the Counterdrug Task Force is to support military units, federal state and local law enforcement agencies, as well as community-based organizations and educational institutions in their efforts to fight drug experimentation, abuse and trafficking.
Coalition development is the primary mission of the Drug Demand Reduction Program. These efforts include support to youth centers, drug-free events, recreational programs, safe havens and mobilization events.
Other programs that the Virgin Islands National Guard Counterdrug Task Force are involved with are DARE, Coole School Program, Drilling Against Drugs and the "Positive Choices" Ropes Course, an adventure based education medium used to encourage team building, active learning and leadership skills.
For more information on these programs and the Counterdrug Task Force, call Master Sergeant Lee at 712-7744 or 712-7745.

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