Local Experts: Alcohol Addiction Rising in Young Adults

Local experts say there's a reason to be alarmed about the latest trend in drinking and substance abuse -- a rising number in young adults seeking treatment.

The issue was highlighted in a viral video showing a 23-year old driver in Florida clearly drinking in driving. She was using a smart phone app called Periscope to stream live video of herself as she drove and talked about how drunk she was.

The video ultimately led to her arrest, and may have saved her life and the lives of others.

Kiii News Reporter Bill Churchwell spoke with local experts about the issue.

"To see what people think they are capable of, how little they realize they are actually impaired," said Amy Granberry of Charlie's Place Recovery Center. "Your phone impairs you enough."

Granberry said the Center is starting to see a shift in patients. More young adults are seeking treatment.

"We traditionally had an average age of patients around mid-40's. Over the last couple of years we've seen more and more in the 18-25 range," Granberry said. "Not our largest group, but it is growing."

"We don't need anymore alcoholics here. We don't need anymore drunks on the road," said Donine Schwartz of the Youth Continuum of Care Coalition.

The Coalition says alcohol abuse prevention starts by targeting our youth.

"They also say 47-percent of all children, youth, young adults, will turn into alcoholics if they start drinking at the age of 12 and continue," Schwartz said.

Through a partnership with Liquid Town, the Youth Continuum of Care Coalition spent Tuesday placing tags on bottles warning about the consequences of buying alcohol for anyone under 21.

"We talked to a lot of children and kids and found out they are getting their alcohol from their parents' house or friends' houses," Schwartz said. "When we talked to kids they say it's kind of easy to get."

It may be easy to get, but a costly mistake. An adult caught providing a minor with booze will pay a $4,000 fine and face a year behind bars.


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