A town hall meeting on underage drinking Thursday begins with a march across Charlotte Amalie from the Roy L. Schneider Medical Center parking lot.
The awareness march begins at 5:30 p.m. and will proceed to the Charlotte Amalie High School campus, where walkers will be accompanied by the CAHS Marching Band and the Amazing Youth Drum Corps.
The two-hour meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in school’s Ruth E. Thomas Auditorium. The theme is "Raising Awareness and Getting Results," and the goal is to make the community aware of the risks of underage drinking, according to Maren Roebuck, coordinator of the Substance Abuse Prevention Program under the Department’s Mental Health, Alcoholism and Drug Dependency Service.
Roebuck and colleague Annette Scott, who regularly make presentations on substance abuse prevention at various schools territorywide, said underage drinking can result in addiction, health problems and even death.
“Prom season and graduations are coming up and we want to make sure that our young people know the risks that come with addiction or with drinking and driving,” Roebuck said.
The panel discussion is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at the auditorium. Panelists include educators, religious officials and representatives from local and federal agencies that deal with substance abuse prevention.
“This is also an opportunity to educate parents, teachers, public officials and other community members about the impact of underage drinking. We want to create awareness as well as provide a venue for information dissemination relative to alcohol and underage drinking as education is key.”
The meeting is sponsored by the Division of Mental Health, Alcoholism and Drug Dependency Services and the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency, St. Thomas-St. John. Also taking part are the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevents.