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Partnership releases state of state on underage drinking

5/15/2014

Special to The Hays Daily News

Special to The Hays Daily News

Kansas Leadership to Keep Children Alcohol Free, a committee of Kansas Family Partnership (KFP), has released a new State of the State on Underage Drinking document that shares sobering statistics about alcohol abuse in Kansas, including:

One in five Kansas 12th graders think it's "OK" for someone their age to drink alcohol regularly;

Fifteen percent of Kansas 10th graders binged on alcohol at least once in the last 30 days;

One in four alcohol abuse treatment admissions in Kansas are attributed to youth under age 21.

The committee hopes this document will raise awareness for substance abuse issues that affect everyone and promote efforts that focus on substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion to create healthier and stronger communities for everyone.

"Through this document, we want to shed light on these issues, especially during National Prevention Week, and encourage teens, parents, schools and communities to work together to improve health across the state," said Michelle Voth, KFP executive director. "Preventing substance abuse and promoting mental health will help ensure productive futures for all Kansans."

To recognize prevention successes and develop community partnerships, KFP is collecting and sharing "I Choose" messages from Kansans who believe substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion is important. Throughout National Prevention Week, KFP is asking individuals and groups to post their messages and photos on KFP's Facebook page. Several Kansans have shared their messages, including Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Secretary Shawn Sullivan, Kansas Department for Transportation Secretary Mike King, AAA Kansas President Jim Hanni, Kansas Highway Patrol staff, Kansas First News Meteorologist Tom Hagen and Prevention and Recovery Services staff.

"We invite everyone to visit KFP's Facebook page to share and see all of the great messages we're receiving," said Voth. "The more we talk about preventing substance abuse and promoting mental health, the more opportunities we have to work together to improve the numbers in documents like the State of the State on Underage Drinking."

For more information about the State of the State on Underage Drinking document and ideas for its use, contact KFP at (800) 206-7231 or ksfampart@kansasfamily.com or visit www.kansasfamily.com.