In recognition of April as Alcohol Awareness Month, Teens in Everett Against Substance Abuse (TEASA) will hold an alcohol awareness rally on April 16th at 4:30pm in Everett Square.
Sixty-six percent of high school students and 33 percent of middle school students think it’s “very easy” or “sort of easy” to obtain alcohol according to 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data collected from Everett middle and high school students. While alcohol use has decreased in recent years in Everett, alcohol is still the most frequently used substance among Everett youth.
This year’s rally is scheduled to raise awareness prior to spring break, prom and high school graduation. “ “I think the rally is a great change to educate both teens and their parents about how underage drinking can affect them as a family,” said Gustavo Castilo, 17, a junior at EHS. “ When teens drink, they put not only themselves at risk, but their parents as well. It’s important that we let people know about these risks…Alcohol clearly affects our community, especially during graduation season, and this is a good chance to keep everyone reminded of how much of an issue underage drinking is.”
TEASA is a youth group for high school students interested in addressing issues impacting children and youth of Everett. Founded in 2005 as a youth initiative of the Everett Community Health Partnership’s Substance Abuse Coalition, TEASA provides opportunities for youth to develop leadership skills through group meetings, trainings, and fun activities and community events.
“Youth in Everett really care about their community and know that alcohol is easy to access and use. They are concerned about the consequences and dangers that impact the whole community. This rally is an important event to demonstrate that not all Everett youth are engaging in drug and alcohol use and to raise awareness that underage drinking impacts everyone.,” said TEASA coordinator Jaime Lederer. “The community is invited to join us and show their support for the youth and for reducing alcohol use in the community.”
About the Everett Community Health Partnership–Substance Abuse Coalition (ECHP-SAC)
ECHP-SAC, an initiative of the Cambridge Health Alliance’s Department of Community Health Improvement is a community based prevention coalition funded by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Since 2003, the coalition has been committed to bringing together and mobilizing the diverse community of Everett to address issues associated with substance abuse while promoting positive health and well-being, especially among our youth. Through a range of prevention efforts, the coalition uses multiple strategies in multiple settings to change the social norms on alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use.