For Immediate Release: Further Information:
February 11, 2002
Marie Blanchard (617) 722-1643
Senator Joyce Seeks Student Delegate for Youth Summit to Prevent Underage Drinking
As underage drinking continues to threaten the lives of young people and alcohol remains the number one drug problem among youth in America, State Senator Brian A. Joyce this week announced that he is seeking to nominate a student delegate to participate in a Youth Summit in May 2002 organized by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
The summit will provide a forum for high-school aged youth from across the state to develop proposals to curb underage drinking. Alcohol kills 6.5 times more young people than all other illicit drugs combined. Moreover, a recent study by Boston University’s School of Public Health reported that the younger people are when they start drinking alcohol, the more likely they are to drive after excessive drinking and get into alcohol-related car crashes over the course of their adult lives.
“This is a great opportunity for young people to get involved in combating the issue of underage drinking and to increase their interest and understanding of state and local government,” said Senator Joyce. “I encourage all high-school aged students interested in gaining valuable leadership skills and preventing underage drinking to apply to the Youth Summit and become involved in an issue that affects all of us.”
The summit will take place at the Westin Waltham Hotel, May 5-7, 2002 and then delegates will hold a press conference at the State House to announce the policy recommendations agreed to during the summit.
MADD recently sent applications to every high school in the state and to all state elected officials in an effort to help identify student leaders for the gathering. MADD’s goal is to have at least 80 high school students selected from across the state, but will accept as many as 200 representatives – one from each House and Senate district in the state.
“Since the founding of MADD in 1980, we have made significant progress in focusing the public on alcohol-related driving and the number of fatalities that result from that behavior,” said MADD State Executive Director Barbara Harrington. “The fact that these crashes are on the rise once again should concern us all. It isn’t enough to get MADD, we need people to get involved. Research shows that the earlier young people drink, the more likely they are to develop alcohol problems as adults.”
Founded in 1980, MADD's mission is to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking. To receive an application for the Massachusetts Youth Summit to Prevent Underage Drinking or to find out more about MADD, please call 800-633-6233.