Office of Drug Control Policy
First Lady Glenna Fletcher Participated in Town Hall Meeting on Underage Drinking

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, April 26, 2006  
Contact Information:  Contact Stacy Floden
(502) 564-8220

FRANKFORT, Ky. – First Lady Glenna Fletcher today spoke with parents, teachers, young people and other community leaders at a town hall meeting in Somerset about prevention of underage drinking.

Mrs. Fletcher, who serves as Kentucky’s honorary chairperson for the national Underage Drinking Prevention Campaign, said the meeting, at the Center for Rural Development, provided an opportunity for citizens to voice concerns and offer ideas for preventing young people from using alcohol.

“The battle to prevent underage drinking is a long term campaign that requires a unified, community approach,” First Lady Glenna Fletcher said.  “Young people are drinking in greater numbers at earlier ages.  The tragic reality is that drinking is dangerous and often deadly for young people.”

Young people, on average, start drinking when they are 13 years old. Drinking under the age of 21 is illegal in all 50 states, but there are still more than 10 million children in this country who drink alcohol.  Approximately 165,000 underage youth in Kentucky drink and 73 percent of Kentucky students have had at least one drink of alcohol.

Kentucky’s campaign is part of an initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and in partnership with the Ad Council. Kentucky communities chosen to participate in the program received a stipend of $1,000 from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

“Underage drinking is a serious issue we cannot ignore.  The need for a public education campaign about the risks of underage drinking is absolutely crucial,” said First Lady Glenna Fletcher.