Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco to Participate in Community Prevention Forum
March 28, 2008
West Palm Beach— Underage drinking will be the focus of a community-wide forum to address alcohol abuse among teens. The event, titled “Underage Drinking: Gateway to Addiction,” will be held at the Palm Beach County Convention Center on Monday, March 31, at 8 a.m. and will unite businesses, community leaders, law enforcement, educators and parents in the fight against underage drinking. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (ABT), Cynthia Hill, will speak at the event to share the Division’s enhanced focus on prevention.
Alcohol is a gateway drug, leading users to experiment with more addictive substances. It is the most commonly used drug among youth in Palm Beach County, according to the Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey. In a 30-day period, the survey shows that 19.8 percent of middle school students and 46.3 percent of high school students drank alcohol. Palm Beach County youth drink more than the state’s average, according to the survey.
The goal of the forum is to increase awareness, enforcement, and treatment and to share experiences, collaborate, and create an action plan to stop teenage alcohol use. Participants are diverse in background and represent a cross-section of South Florida. Other special guests include Beverly Watts Davis, a key advisor with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Lou Colombo, a national parent-child advocate from the Passage Group, and Toren Volkmann, author of “From Binge to Blackout.”
One of ABT’s core missions is to keep alcohol out of the hands of underage people through an extensive three-tier approach including education, prevention and enforcement. In keeping with this mission, the Department is devoting more resources to the prevention of alcohol and drug abuse, especially among the underage. The Division recently launched a webpage dedicated to prevention efforts that can be found on the Department’s Web site listed below.
Registration for the event is $40 for members and $50 for non-members, which includes a continental breakfast and lunch.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly. The Department licenses more than one million businesses and professionals ranging from real estate agents, veterinarians, and accountants to contractors and cosmetologists. For more information, please visit www.MyFloridaLicense.com.