When you tell a room full of East Texans that the state average of kids beginning to drink is 12.2-years-old, and in Angelina County it's even younger then that, ears perk up. That's not the only shocking statistic, Angelina County is higher than the national average in alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana.
An alcohol policy forum was held to find ways to get all facets of the community to work together to lower those numbers.
Janet Taylor, the executive director for the Coalition, said, "One of the things we're trying to change is the environment our kids grow up in, because we found out when you change the environment then accessibility comes down."
Most energy drinks may look alike, but you may find out they some contain alcohol.
Rachel Oates, a drug-free all-star out of Diboll, said, "They have as much caffeine as six cokes and as much alcohol as two beers in one energy drink. And they make kids get awake, but are also getting them drunk at the same time, and continuing to want to drink more and more. And they are for sale in convenience stores in Lufkin, in Diboll, and in Angelina County."
The Executive Director for Texans Standing Tall Nicole says parents underestimate the problem. While the number of people drinking may decrease, the number of drinks teenagers are consuming is increasing.
Holt said, "We're in an age of super sizing, so parents may think their kids are drinking an eight ounce drink of alcohol when it's really a 44 ounce."
But, alcohol is not the only poison according to drug-free advocates, statistics show that by tenth grade 32% of students will have tried marijuana.
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