LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- A group working to fight underage drinking and prescription drug abuse among young people needs your help knowing where to start, as they tackle substance abuse problems in our area.
The Wichita Mountains Prevention Network does not have a lot of feedback from people in the 18-25 age group. They're collecting as much information as they can to help create programs to battle substance abuse in young people.
Regional Prevention Coordinator Director Brooke Mahoney said education is the first step to preventing underage drinking, and abuse of prescription drugs.
"We try to train retailers so clerks and servers on proper serving and selling practices making sure they are checking ID's, make sure they are not selling to someone that is already intoxicated, educating parents not to host underage drinking parties in their homes, training law enforcement on some of the different laws or ways they handle or properly disburse a party," said Mahoney.
They want to come up with a battle plan to attack the issues facing young drinkers. The Lawton Fort Sill Community Coalition is taking an on line survey, to gauge people's attitudes.Once they know how young people abuse alcohol and prescription drugs, and how they're able to get a hold of them, they will develop a campaign to tackle the issue head on.
Taking the survey is quiet simple and quick, once you click the link, you will be asked different questions like where you store your prescriptions at home whether people should face charges for giving alcohol to minors, and how many underage people have drank alcohol. Your information will be kept anonymous.
"It's their opportunity to have their opinions be heard, and its really helpful for us to know if we are making an impact or not so it helps us to ultimately prevent underage drinking and the non-medical use of prescription drugs helps us to really guide what efforts we are going to be taking on to make these improvements its just kind of someone way of helping the community," said Mahoney.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports 152 alcohol related crashes in Stephens County from 2013 to 2015.Of that number, 19 drivers were underage. Comanche County saw 440 alcohol related crashes during the same time, with 81 of those drivers 21 or younger.Also causing concern, and reason for the survey young people abusing prescription drugs.
"People would be surprised but with the prescription drug abuse for example there is more prescription drug abuse deaths in the state of Oklahoma right now than car crashes. i think that a lot of people are unaware of that and even though underage drinking has been going on for a while it's still problematic," said Mahoney.
You must be at least 18 years old to take the survey. It's anonymous.There's a separate link at the end that will enter you into a chance to win prizes including gift cards, a smart TV, an ipad, iwatch, and Thunder tickets.The Lawton Ft Sill Community Coalition needs all the responses it can get by midnight Sunday.
The link is posted here: Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse Survey.