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Town Hall Meetings to Confront Underage Drinking in Maine Communities.

WASHINGTON, March 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The Federal Interagency Coordinating Committee for the Prevention of Underage Drinking, chaired by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an operating division of the Health and Human Services Department (HHS), was established in 1992 by the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration Reorganization Act (Pub. L. No. 102-321).  (SAMHSA SAMHSA Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration ), in partnership with state and local agencies and organizations, is spearheading a nationwide campaign to curb underage drinking before it starts. Town hall meetings, with the theme "Start talking before they start drinking," are being convened on and around March 28, 2006, in approximately 1,200 communities across the country.

In around 30 rural and urban Maine communities, representing every county in the state, residents will come together to learn more about the latest research on the impact of underage drinking on both individuals and the community, and to discuss how their community can best prevent underage alcohol use by reducing demand, availability and access. Governor John Baldacci John Elias Baldacci (born January 30, 1955) is the current Governor of the U.S. State of Maine. A Democrat, he was born in Bangor, Maine, one of eight siblings in a family of Italian-Lebanese origin.  and first lady Karen Baldacci are featured in a video to be played at each town hall meeting; Mrs. Baldacci will speak at several meetings across the state. Other state and local officials, parents and youth will join community leaders and organizations (spanning health, education, law enforcement, highway safety, and alcohol control) across the state to encourage parents to talk with their children early and often about the negative effects of alcohol.

Research shows that parents of teens generally underestimate the extent of alcohol used by youth and its negative consequences, with parents viewing underage drinking as "inevitable." According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, roughly 10.8 million underage persons ages 12 to 20 (28.7 percent) reported current alcohol use. Of these underage drinkers, 4.4 million were ages 12-17. Approximately 11.1 percent of 12-year-olds reported using alcohol at least once in their lifetimes. By age 13 the percentage doubles, and by age 15 it is over 50 percent. Teens use alcohol more frequently than all illicit drugs combined. In addition to its negative impact on health, alcohol use among youth is strongly correlated with violence, risky sexual behavior sexual behavior A person's sexual practices–ie, whether he/she engages in heterosexual or homosexual activity. See Sex life, Sexual life. , poor academic performance, alcohol-related driving incidents, and other harmful behaviors. In fact, alcohol is responsible for six times the number of youth deaths than can be attributed to all other drugs combined.

The town hall meetings will feature recently released public service announcements, developed in collaboration with the Ad Council, that bear the theme "Start talking before they start drinking". Other first ladies will participate in town hall meetings in Florida, New Mexico New Mexico, state in the SW United States. At its northwestern corner are the so-called Four Corners, where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah meet at right angles; New Mexico is also bordered by Oklahoma (NE), Texas (E, S), and Mexico (S). , North Carolina North Carolina, state in the SE United States. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean (E), South Carolina and Georgia (S), Tennessee (W), and Virginia (N). Facts and Figures

Area, 52,586 sq mi (136,198 sq km). Pop.
, Ohio, Oklahoma and Wyoming.

More detailed information about date, time and location of town hall meetings around Maine is appended. To learn about town hall meetings elsewhere across the country, see the Stop Underage Drinking federal partners website:; click on "town hall locations" and click on any state for town hall information.

SAMHSA, a public health agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Noun 1. Department of Health and Human Services - the United States federal department that administers all federal programs dealing with health and welfare; created in 1979
Health and Human Services, HHS
, is the lead federal agency for improving the quality and availability of substance abuse prevention, addiction treatment and mental health services health services Managed care The benefits covered under a health contract  in the United States.

Town hall meetings are sponsored by the Federal Interagency Coordinating Committee for the Prevention of Underage Drinking, which includes the Administration for Children and Families The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is a division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It is headed by the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, which from 2001 to 2007 was Dr. Wade F. Horn. , Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, shortened to Tax and Trade Bureau or TTB, is a bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury. On January 24, 2003, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (the Act) split functions of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), agency of the U.S. Public Health Service since 1973, with headquarters in Atlanta; it was established in 1946 as the Communicable Disease Center. , Federal Trade Commission, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (or OJJDP) is an office of the United States Department of Justice and a component of the Office of Justice Programs. , Office of National Drug Control Policy The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) was established by the National Narcotics Leadership Act of 1988 (21 U.S.C.A. § 1501 et seq.) and began operations in January 1989. , Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, Office of the Surgeon General The U.S. Surgeon General is charged with the protection and advancement of health in the United States. Since the 1960s the surgeon general has become a highly visible federal public health official, speaking out against known health risks such as tobacco use, and promoting disease , and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Organizations Conducting Underage Drinking Prevention Town Hall Meetings


[This list includes Town Hall meetings reported as of 3/20/06 and, thus, may
                         not be a complete list]

  Augusta, Maine
  Organization Name: Maine Association of Prevention Programs
  Address: 8 Mulliken Court

  Bath, Maine
  Organization Name: United Way of Midcoast Maine
  Address: 34 Wing Farm Parkway, Suite 201
  Location: Mt. Ararat High School
  Address: 73 Eagles Way
  City: Topsham
  Date: 2/28/2006
  Town Hall leader: Peter Lindsay, United Way Director of Community Impact
  Town Hall leader: Mary Herman, Former First Lady of Maine

  Belfast, Maine
  Organization Name: Waldo County Preschool & Family Services
  Address: 5 Stephenson Lane
  Location: University Of Maine Hutchinson Center
  Address: 80 Belmont Ave
  City: Belfast
  Date: 03/23/06
  Town Hall leader: Patrick Walsh, Program Director

  Bridgton, Maine
  Organization Name: Bridgton Community Center
  Address: 15 Depot Street

  Calais, Maine
  Organization Name: NADA - Neighbors Against Drug Abuse
  Address: 587 Main Street

  Caribou, Maine
  Organization Name: Aroostook Teen Leadership Camp
  Address: P.O. Box 1018
  Location: Madawaska Elementary School
  Address: 11th Ave
  City: Madawaska
  Date: 04/04/06
  Town Hall leader: Frances Gendreau, Program Evaluator

  Dover-Foxcroft, Maine
  Organization Name: CHCS Children's Services
  Address: 1098 West Main St.

  Lewiston, Maine
  Organization Name: Healthy Androscoggin
  Address: 76 High St., Suite 303

  Lincoln, Maine
  Organization Name: Penobscot Valley Hospital
  Address: P.O. Box 368

  Littleton, Maine
  Organization Name: Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians
  Address: 88 Bell Road, Suite 2

  Lubec, Maine
  Organization Name: Coalition for Healthy Tomorrows
  Address: Regional Medical Center at Lubec, 43 South Lubec Rd.
  Location: Carter's Banquet Hall
  Address: 26 East Maine Street
  City: Machias
  Date: 04/11/2006
  Event Time: 6:30 PM
  Town Hall leader: Donald Hallcom, Director of Community Services, RMCL

  Millinocket, Maine
  Organization Name: Katahdin Area Partnership
  Address: 125 Connecticut Avenue
  Location: St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church
  Address: Colby Street
  City: Millinocket
  Date: 3/23/06
  Event Time: 6:00 PM
  Town Hall leader: Jen Olsen, Project Coordinator

  Newcastle, Maine
  Organization Name: Youth Promise
  Address: P.O. Box 721

  Norway, Maine
  Organization Name: Healthy Oxford Hills
  Address: 181 Main Street

  Old Orchard Beach, Maine
  Organization Name: Old Orchard Beach Communities for Children
  Address: Old Orchard Beach H.S., 40 E. Emerson Cummings Blvd.

  Old Town, Maine
  Organization Name: River Coalition
  Address: 240 Main Street

  Pittsfield, Maine
  Organization Name: Sebasticook Valley Hospital
  Address: 99 Grove Street

  Poland, Maine
  Organization Name: Community Concepts
  Address: 43 Herrick Valley Rd
  Location: Poland Regional High School, Cafe
  Address: 1457 Maine St
  City: Poland
  Date: 03/23/2006
  Event Time: 5:30 PM
  Town Hall leader: Lynley Turkington, Adolescent Substance Abuse Counselor

  Portland, Maine
  Organization Name: Communities Promoting Health
  Address: PROP, 510 Cumberland Ave.

  Organization Name: Portland CMCA
  Address: 583 Forest Ave.
  Location: Merrill Rehearsal Hall
  Address: Myrtle Street
  City: Portland
  Date: 03/29/2006
  Town Hall leader: Erica Schmitz, Coordinator, Portland CMCA Coalition

  Readfield, Maine
  Organization Name: Maranacook Community Schools
  Address: 45 Millard Harrison Drive
  Location: Maranacook High School student center
  Address: Millard Harrison Dr.
  City: Readfield
  Date: 03/06/2006
  Event Time: 07:00 PM
  Town Hall leader: Lori Putnam, HS Principal

  Rockport, Maine
  Organization Name: Knox County Coalition Against Tobacco
  Address: 280 West Street
  Location: Rockland District High School Auditorium
  Address: 400 Broadway
  City: Rockland
  Date: 3/15/2006
  Event Time: 5:30-8:00 PM
  Town Hall leader: Steve Rowe, Attorney General
  Town Hall leader: Mary Herman, Former First Lady of Maine

  South Portland, Maine
  Organization Name: South Portland School Department, Attn: Suzanne Godin
  Address: 130 Wescott Street

  Van Buren, Maine
  Organization Name: Power of Prevention/Cary Medical Center
  Address: 4 Main Street
  Location: Van Buren District Secondary School
  Address: 169 Main St.
  City: Van Buren
  Date: 04/20/2005
  Event Time: 7:00 pm
  Town Hall leader: Debbie Eustis-Grandy, School Health Coordinator

  Waterville, Maine
  Organization Name: Greater Waterville Prevention Coalition
  Address: 14 Common St.

  Westbrook, Maine
  Organization Name: Westbrook School Department
  Address: 117 Stroudwater Street

  York, Maine
  Organization Name: Keys of Promise
  Address: c/o York Hospital, 15 Hospital Dr.

CONTACT: SAMHSA Press, +1-240-276-2130

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Date:Mar 22, 2006
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