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Henry County group fights underage drinking

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HENRY COUNTY, Ga. -

Underage drinking is an issue many parents are slow to address, and experts say that's part of the problem. Henry County is addressing the problem, and they hope to convince parents that they can be part of the solution.

"I went from being the quiet school girl to this outrageous beast," said Maya Keating

She says she was 10 years old the first time got drunk.

"We would drink Heineken just because there was nothing else in the house to drink," said Keating.

She says her downward spiral of drugs and destructive relationships started because her mother was an alcoholic. For Sabrina Stolze, it was her father.

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Related Links:

www.stopalcoholunder21.org
www.crosswalkusa.org
www.madd.org
www.celebraterecovery.com

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"As a result I grew up in the chaos of an alcoholic home. The pain, the fear, the frustration and didn't get a lot of help dealing with that as a teenager," said Stolze.

Now, both women have made it their mission to stop the cycle of alcoholism, particularly underage drinking.

"Kids between 9 and 20 use alcohol more than any other substance," said Gina Moore of the Henry County Community Prevention Alliance.

Moore works to prevent underage drinking. It's a real problem in Henry County, with 30 percent of kids they surveyed admitting they drank alcohol at home in the last 30 days.

She says it's parents who create and shape their kids' attitudes about alcohol, and if underage drinking is to be prevented, parents must first realize the problem.

"Just to be willing to face the fact that this isn't something that's not a big deal. That it can become something very serious," said Stolze.

Henry County's Community Prevention Alliance is bringing kids and parents together in a symposium on underage drinking. The meeting takes place at 7 p.m. on Monday at the Community Bible Church, located at 2001 Jodeco Road in Stockbridge.

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