EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

May 2, 2014

Underage parties a spring ritual in New Hampshire

Londonderry police charge 20 with alcohol offenses

With proms and graduations come underage drinking parties.

The state Department of Health and Human Services Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services yesterday announced the release of a video aimed at preventing underage drinking.

That announcement came on the heels of the arrest of 20 people at an underage party in Londonderry Tuesday night.

To see the video, visit

http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/media/av/drug-free-nh.htm.

It’s the time of year when teenagers are ready to celebrate — and parents and other adults are on edge.

The video is aimed at prevention, its target audience parents and other adult community members, said Valerie Morgan, the administrator for prevention services within the bureau.

New Hampshire has one of highest underage drinking rates in the nation, she said.

Thirty-five percent of Granite Staters ages 12 to 20 reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. That’s well above the national average of 25 percent and the Northeast average of 29 percent. The survey was based on data from 2012, Morgan said.

“It is a big problem in the state and we all need to take a role, responsibility — parents, coaches, schools,” Morgan said. “Most young people want to adhere to those expectations. ... I think the consistent messaging is, it’s against the law and it’s not safe. There are other ways to have fun.”

The video, less than two minutes long, will be distributed through the state’s prevention system, to the 13 regional public health networks, to Drug Free Communities grantees and more, she said.

Parents are key to prevention, Morgan said, especially at this time of year.

“Kids are staying out late, going to after-prom parties,” she said. “Parents need to supervise, supervise, supervise.”

There were no parents at home when police went to a Seasons Lane home at 11 p.m. Tuesday for a noise complaint.

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