Berks County community leaders will gather at Kutztown Area Middle School Nov. 10 to talk about how underage drinking is being addressed in the Kutztown community and to answer questions. This event is free and open to the public the meeting being held from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

“The use of alcohol among adolescents is still a serious health issue,” said Jaclyn Steed, Prevention Program Manager at the Council on Chemical Abuse.

According to the 2015 Berks County Pennsylvania Youth (PAYS) survey, the most common early initiation/higher prevalence substance used was alcohol with 47.0% of Berks County students compared to 43.9 percent at the state level.

“We need to continue to look at our community and see how we can help our youth reach their full potential without the danger and consequences of alcohol use,” said Steed, “As a community we need to evaluate our attitudes toward underage alcohol use, youth accessibility to alcohol, and interventions put in place to help those who are struggling.”

Discussion panelists include Kutztown University President Dr. Kenneth Hawkinson, Dr. Ming R. Wang of Caron Treatment Centers, Kutztown Police Chief Craig M. Summers, person in long-term recovery Rev. Jeremiah Sassaman from Topton EMS and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Mertztown, Prevention Specialist with the Council on Chemical Abuse Alicia Kline, and Magisterial District Judge Gail M. Greth.

This event is part of the “Communities Talk” town hall meetings to prevent underage drinking happening all over the country through funding provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Organizational partners for this event include the following: Council on Chemical Abuse, Kutztown President’s Round Table, and Kutztown University Health and Wellness.

To learn more about the Council on Chemical Abuse and the community resources available, please visit

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