A study shows alcohol is the most commonly abused substance among local youth, with the average rate for underage drinking in Anne Arundel County higher than the national average.
The discovery comes after the Anne Arundel County Department of Health, along with local substance abuse prevention coalitions, collected 4,500 responses from youth ages 12-20 about their use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and prescription drugs.
The study released in September showed that the average rate of 27 percent for underage drinking in Anne Arundel County is 1.6 percent higher than the national average.
Where are young people getting alcohol?
The answers provided weren't specific—74 percent of responders said “someone gave it to me” or "I gave someone money to buy it for me." Other responders said they obtained alcohol at liquor stores, restaurants, bars and clubs, or public events. However, some did admit to taking alcohol from family members.
“There are many legal and health risks for both adults and youth when adults furnish alcohol to underage youth,” said Sandy Smolnicky, a Department of Health prevention specialist, in a written statement. “Parents who do not communicate a zero tolerance message on underage drinking help to increase young people’s alcohol use.”
Included in the study is a reference to an article about a Severna Park house party where police reported there was underage drinking taking place in March 2013. Although more than 20 juveniles between ages 14 and 17 were cited by police for violating underage liquor laws, many of those charges were later dismissed.TELL US: Do these results surprise you? Leave a comment to let us know.