SC initiative aims to stop underage drinking
YORK COUNTY, S.C. — Alarming statistics have just been released on how easy it is for minors to gain access to alcoholic beverages.
In South Carolina, 53 percent of eighth graders say they can get their hands on an adult beverage with no problem.
Other shocking statistics include, one in nine high school students admit to drinking and driving.
In York County, drug abuse officials joining a statewide campaign, Out of their Hands, which reminds parents and youth it’s illegal to drink under the age of 21.
Alex Greenawalt, a prevention specialist with Keystone Substance Abuse Services in Rock Hill says underage drinking is a “social norm.”
“Unfortunately it’s legal in South Carolina for their parent to give their own child alcohol but not their child’s friend,” Greenawalt said.
On average, 30 percent of Keystone’s patients under the age of 18 are there for alcohol abuse.
“That’s a social norm we need to debust, or break down,” Greenawalt said.
Taking the Out of their Hands campaign a step further, Keystone officials have created another organization called, Preventing Alcohol Collisions and Teen Drinking.
“We got a local alcohol enforcement team that goes out make sure the retailers are not selling alcohol to minors,” Greenawalt said. “If they fail that when they come here to Keystone and are mandated to take a course.”
Those interested in learning more about the Out of Their Hands program can click here for more information.