Underage Drinking Discussed

By Isiah REYES

A town hall meeting that intends to raise awareness of underage drinking and its effects on the community will take place June 26 at the Brand Library and Art Center in Glendale.

The informational meeting hopes to educate parents on how to talk to their teens about drinking. It is an opportunity for all community members to voice their concerns and suggest ideas for preventing underage drinking.

The panelists at the meeting include Annie Ortega of Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, Sona Hovsepian of CV Alliance, Hannah Sheklow, who tragically lost her daughter to substance addiction, and Lt. Tim Feeley of the Glendale Police Dept.

“There are a lot of things that are done by the Didi Hirsch presenters, in terms of giving examples and helpful tips to parents and the adults in the audience,” Feeley said. “The biggest part for parents is to understand the example they are setting for their teens. I don’t believe in telling teens ‘just say no.’ I think you have to give examples to teens about why they shouldn’t do certain things. That’s a far stronger message than telling someone to not do it.”

Sheklow especially wants to spread the word against drug use. Her life was shattered when her daughter Elannah Rose Sheklow confessed she was smoking heroin and had been using other drugs as well for three years.

The meeting will also discuss survey data and statistics on drug use and teens. For example, 50% of local youth sampled incorrectly reported that many people their age drink alcohol, while 13% to 20% of local youth sampled were not certain that they could say “no” if they were offered alcohol. Also the time of the year for teens’ first use of alcohol peaks in June, July, and December.

Overall the meeting intends to create awareness and a safe and healthy drug-free community.

The meeting will take place Thursday, June 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Brand Library and Art Center located on 1601 W. Mountain St., Glendale in classroom number 2.

For more information, contact: aodprevention@didihirsch.org or call Annie Ortega at
(818) 638-5456.