Most Underage Drinkers Get Booze At Home - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Most Underage Drinkers Get Booze At Home

NACHES, Wash. - A local man working to reduce underage drinking says most of the time, kids are getting alcohol at home.  

Now that Naches Valley Middle School has secured a huge grant to combat underage drinking, it's Dustin Shattuck's job to figure out exactly how to do that.  "The town of Naches has really stepped up, everyone is coming together." he says.

He adds that they're just at the first step, assessment.  But public perception of underage drinking, and getting parents to recognize it's a problem there could be the real battle.

According to survey results from 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th graders in Yakima County, many of them are drinking.  Nearly a quarter of 8th grade students had a drink in the last 30 days, that goes up to nearly 40% for high school seniors.  And they're drinking, partly, because it's so easy to get at home.

Whether parents know it or not, kids are getting alcohol right under their roof, and sharing it with their friends.  Considering that research finds alcohol is a teen's number one drug of choice, it may be time for local schools to shift their emphasis.

Shattuck says, "There's been a really strong anti-tobacco campaign, and it's showing smoking is really down among youth.  There just hasn't been as much time, money and emphasis put into underage drinking."

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