Underage drinking a problem in Carbondale - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Underage drinking a problem in Carbondale

The SIU Student Health Center called a town hall meeting to come up with ways to prevent underage drinking and binge drinking. The SIU Student Health Center called a town hall meeting to come up with ways to prevent underage drinking and binge drinking.

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Underage drinking is something that plagues SIU and the Carbondale community.

"I think it's very socially like a staple for students on campus," said Taylor Wilson. "It's one of the things that are expected especially as freshman. A lot of students think they need to do it to find friends."

That's why the SIU Student Health Center called a town hall meeting to come up with ways to prevent underage drinking and binge drinking.

"Underage drinking and high risk drinking stand kind of opposed to the academic mission of the university," said Jason Gillman director of SIU Wellness Center. "We understand that people use alcohol. We want them to do it in a safe way."

One of the ways being considered is possibly changing the fact that many bars in Carbondale allow anyone 18 and up to enter their establishments.

"If you are let into a bar it's really easy to get a drink," said Karen Heinemann SIU Grad Student. "I'm sure something could be done if there was actually more on campus activities that promoted none drinking."

Some EMTs say they see the consequences of underage drinking in Carbondale far too often.

"Unfortunately we see a high instance of underage drinking pretty mush on a weekly basis," said Tad Johnson with Jackson County Ambulance Service. "And the dangers I see it poses is a lot of underage persons end in situations that they get themselves injured. Or they get injured or taken advantage of by other people."

According to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 10-million young people between the ages of 12 and 20 reported alcohol use during the preceding month.

Studies indicate that the cost to the nation from underage drinking in 2010 topped $62-billion.

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