Summit held to help address county’s high teen drinking rate

A teen summit was held by the Partners for Prevention of Teen Drinking Coalition on Friday, Oct. 13 at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta.

A total of 18 students, plus four adult sponsors, were in attendance representing most of the county’s high schools. This was the second teen summit that the prevention group has held. Attendees were from Red Bud, Chester, Sparta and Steeleville. (Coulterville had participated in the previous summit, but was unable to attend this one.)

At the summit, students worked on leadership activities and were told about real life examples of why to not drink and drive, and to not drink under the age of 21.

They were told about Operation Snowball, which is a substance abuse prevention program that focuses on youth leadership and development, and encouraged to start a similar program at their school if they didn’t have one.

Ron Jakubisin, the prevention program manager at the Illinois Association for Behavioral Health (Operation Snowball is an IABH program), also led the group through various leadership activities.

For more from this summit, please see this week’s print edition.