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Cobb Forum to Tackle Teen Drinking

Learn about the problem and solutions Thursday night live on Northeast Cobb Patch.

Cobb County will be talking about underage drinking Thursday night, and you can be part of the conversation.

The Cobb Alcohol Taskforce is marking National Alcohol Awareness Month by gathering a panel of local experts to discuss how underage and youth binge drinking affects the community and what can be done about it.

You’re invited to join the audience in the boardroom at 100 Cherokee St. Or you can watch the forum live here on Northeast Cobb Patch or through the task force’s website.

Either way, you can participate by submitting questions for the panel and by using what you learn to help solve the problem of underage drinking.

What do you want to ask the panel? Post your question in the comments below, and we'll get them to the task force before the forum.

The 2010 Georgia Student Health Survey found that among 12th-graders:

  • 30 percent reported using alcohol in the 30 days before the survey.
  • 76 percent said alcohol is easy to get.
  • 70 percent reported drinking on weekends.
  • 61 percent reported using alcohol at a friend’s house.

The good news is that the numbers are improving in Cobb County.

From 2008 to 2010, there was a 10 percent decrease in 12th-graders who reported binging on alcohol in the previous 30 days, meaning 1,000 fewer binge-drinking teens, and a 6 percent drop in those who used alcohol in the past 30 days, amounting to 600 more sober 12th-graders.

The Cobb Alcohol Taskforce aims to mobilize the community to keep the progress going through efforts such as , and Thursday's forum.

Appearing on Thursday’s panel:

  • Cobb County Commissioner Helen Goreham of District 1 (Northwest Cobb).
  • Dr. John D. Kennedy, the director of .
  • Chief Deputy Lynda Coker.
  • Judge Greg Poole.
  • Jeff Inman, the coordinator of the Cobb school district’s Prevention Intervention Center.
  • Georgia PTA President Donna Kosicki.

Moderating the conversation will be Ross Cavitt, the Cobb County bureau chief for WSB-TV, and Natasha Walker, a student who chairs the Cobb Alcohol Taskforce Youth Council.

The forum will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday and will include a Youth Council presentation and the announcement of the winners of the task force’s public service announcement contest.

If you can’t be there in person, be sure to come back to Northeast Cobb Patch that night to watch the forum live and submit your own questions.

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