S'Klallam Tribe works to reduce teen drinking

 - Annie Tietje/Staff Photo
— image credit: Annie Tietje/Staff Photo

LITTLE BOSTON -Peer pressure can be daunting, something many teenagers struggle with, fight or accept without question. Tuesday evening, parents and students alike were told stories and given words of advice and encouragement to keep the pressure to drink while underaged at bay.

More than 100 students and adults were drawn to the Port Gamble S'Klallam longhouse, looking forward to visits from Miss Washington 2006 Kristen Eddings and Native American motivational speaker Chance Rush, who both spoke on the serious topic of teenage drinking and the high number of cases reported.

"Every single community has a problem with underaged drinking," said Washington State Liquor Control Board alcohol awareness program manager Tony Masias. "Underaged drinking has reached epidemic proportions. Many students we are now seeing start drinking between sixth and eighth grades, and many parents are not talking about it until 11th grade. We want to have them start discussions earlier than that, and that's what we're doing here today."

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