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Teen drinking to top Town Meeting discussion

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By Donald Richie

Harrison County will host a town meeting next month to tackle the issue of underage drinking.

The meeting will be 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 8, at Cynthiana Christian Church.

Harrison County Judge-Executive Alex Barnett said Tuesday that the county has received a stipend which will help with meeting expenses.

The meeting, co-sponsored by the Kentucky Agency for Substance Abuse Policy and the Champions for a Drug-Free Harrison County, is designed to bring children and parents together to discuss underage drinking and its effects.

The meeting will be a panel-style event and parents are encouraged to bring their children.

"This town hall meeting is another step in the right direction to educate children and parents," said Barnett.

Such meetings may give an avenue to receive more funding for anti-drug programs, he added.

"One thing we desperately need is a treatment facility," he said.

As one of his pet projects since taking office last year, tackling the county's drug problem still remains at the front of Barnett's vision. One of his ideas is to get programs started at the schools for awareness. He has often lamented the demise of the old D.A.R.E. anti-drug programs of the 1980s and 1990s.

Already, public service announcements are being broadcast during school morning show times.

"[Studies show] Kids are 40 percent less likely to use drugs or alcohol if they see an anti-drug PSA at least once a week," he said.