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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 (SAMHSA), 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 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 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, 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, North Carolina, 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: http://www.stopalcoholabuse.gov/; 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, is the lead federal agency for improving the quality and availability of substance abuse prevention, addiction treatment and mental health services 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, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 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, Office of National Drug Control Policy, Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, Office of the Surgeon General, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Organizations Conducting Underage Drinking Prevention Town Hall Meetings

Maine

[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
 Email: mrice@masap.org
 Address: 8 Mulliken Court

 Bath, Maine
 Organization Name: United Way of Midcoast Maine
 Email: barbarar@uwmcm.org
 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
 Email: pwalsh@wcpfs.org
 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
 Email: celone@adelphia.net
 Address: 15 Depot Street

 Calais, Maine
 Organization Name: NADA - Neighbors Against Drug Abuse
 Email: wahl@midmaine.com
 Address: 587 Main Street

 Caribou, Maine
 Organization Name: Aroostook Teen Leadership Camp
 Email: frang@nci1.net
 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
 Email: kstephenson@chcs-me.org
 Address: 1098 West Main St.

 Lewiston, Maine
 Organization Name: Healthy Androscoggin
 Email: tardifw@cmhc.org
 Address: 76 High St., Suite 303

 Lincoln, Maine
 Organization Name: Penobscot Valley Hospital
 Email: awoodman@pvhhealthcare.org
 Address: P.O. Box 368

 Littleton, Maine
 Organization Name: Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians
 Email: healthdir@maliseets.com
 Address: 88 Bell Road, Suite 2

 Lubec, Maine
 Organization Name: Coalition for Healthy Tomorrows
 Email: dhallcom@rmcl.org
 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
 Email: jolsen@mrhme.org
 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
 Email: mtyp@midcoast.com
 Address: P.O. Box 721

 Norway, Maine
 Organization Name: Healthy Oxford Hills
 Email: graffame@wmhcc.org
 Address: 181 Main Street

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

 Old Town, Maine
 Organization Name: River Coalition
 Email: mikeriverco@verizon.net
 Address: 240 Main Street

 Pittsfield, Maine
 Organization Name: Sebasticook Valley Hospital
 Email: climeburner@emh.org
 Address: 99 Grove Street

 Poland, Maine
 Organization Name: Community Concepts
 Email: lturkington@poland-hs.u29.k12.me.us
 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
 Email: aeb@propeople.org
 Address: PROP, 510 Cumberland Ave.

 Organization Name: Portland CMCA
 Email: eschmitz@mcd.org
 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
 Email: ashley_pullen@maranacook.org
 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
 Email: cputnam@stepstohealth.org
 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
 Email: pboiss@suscom-maine.com
 Address: 130 Wescott Street

 Van Buren, Maine
 Organization Name: Power of Prevention/Cary Medical Center
 Email: debbie1@vanburen-ms.sad24.k12.me.us
 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
 Email: cyndi@gwc4cy.org
 Address: 14 Common St.

 Westbrook, Maine
 Organization Name: Westbrook School Department
 Email: hales@westbrookschools.org
 Address: 117 Stroudwater Street

 York, Maine
 Organization Name: Keys of Promise
 Email: keys.4.prevention@comcast.net
 Address: c/o York Hospital, 15 Hospital Dr.



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

Web site: http://www.stopalcoholabuse.gov/ http://www.samhsa.gov/
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