Manhasset CASA's Communities Talk Town Hall Meeting, held on Wednesday, April 20th at 7:30 p.m. in Manhasset High School’s Auditorium, was part of a national initiative to raise awareness about the negative impact of underage drinking and mobilize the community to take action to prevent underage drinking. The meeting featured Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas who officiallty kicked off CASA's 2016 Talk. They Hear You. Underage Drinking Prevention Campaign.

Nassau DA Singas and Maureen McCormick, Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Cases discussed why underage drinking is not a minor problem in any community as well as the choices and legal consequences of underage drinking.

Local experts from across Long Island were in attendance addressing specific aspects of the dangers of underage drinking to adolescence, the family and the community. Experts included Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, Ph.D., President & CEO Family & Children’s Association discussing Parenting in a Culture of Underage Drinking; Lara Hunter, LCSW, Coordinator, Stony Brook University Center for Prevention & Outreach National Director Red Watch Band discussing The Reality of College Drinking; and Jessica Houser, Ph.D. Project Director, CASPIR Center for Addiction Services & Psychotherapy Interventions Research Northwell Health discussing The Effect of Alcohol Use Has on Teen Emotional and Physical Well Being.

Our experts answered parent questions regarding the health and safety of teens drinking alcohol before the age of 21, social hosting and dwi laws, driving under the influence of alcohol and today's binge drinking scene across college campuses. Jenna Tishler, Co-President of the Manhasset CASA Youth Club welcomed parents and community residents to the program. Christopher Keen, AP Psychology teacher at Manhasset High School, moderated the event.

“Talking honestly about the reality of underage drinking and how it affects our youth and community is a first step in changing the culture of this problem.  We need to work together as a community to prevent underage drinking and help facilitate the healthy growth of our children and young adults",” said Dr. Caryn Sawyer, Executive Director of Manhasset CASA.

In Manhasset, students report* drinking alcohol in the past 30 days at 5.6% of 8th graders (National Norm is 10.2%); 38.3% of 10th graders (National Norm is 25.7%) and 65.6 % of 12th graders (National Norm is 39.2%). Binge drinking also continues to be a concern in the Manhasset community.  Binge Drinking is defined as having 5 or more alcoholic drinks in a row in the past 2 weeks.  While 10/12th graders report* a decrease in binge drinking since 2009, binge drinking is still significantly above the national norm: 20.5% of 10th graders (National Norm 13.7%); 47.4% of 12th graders (National Norm 22.1%); 8th grade student binge drinking increased slightly to 2% (National 5.1%) (*2016 Bach Harrison Prevention Needs Assessment Survey).

Today we know that underage drinking during the teen years interferes with normal brain development and changes the brain in ways that can have negative effects on information processing and learning. Even more disturbing is the fact that teens who begin underage drinking before the age of 15 are seven times more likely to develop an alcohol use disorder later in life (NYSOASAS Talk 2 Prevent). Research also maintains that parents remain the number one influence in their children's life - especially when it comes to underage drinking. The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.

We hope our campaign assists you to help your child find their voice. During the spring and early summer, the campaign provides prevention tips and resources through CASA's direct mail campaign, electronic newsletter, press releases, website and Facebook page:

CASA Parent Outreach Letter

CASA Talk. They Hear You Fact Card


June distribution in 6th Grade Elementary Schools: Talk. They Hear You Postcard: You've just said "yes" to summer camp.

June distribution in 5th Grade Elementary Schools: Talk. They Hear You Postcard: School's out, hanging with friends is "in".

June E-Newsletter:Summer: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

May E-Newsletter: Talk Today, Tomorrow & Always

June 8, 2016: Sending a Message about Teen Drinking

July 27, 2016: Manhasset Businesses Promote CASA Prevention Message

July 13, 2016: Parents Messages affect Teen Choices and Behaviors

June 8, 2016: Alcohol & Drug Effects on Brain's Reward System

June 1, 2016: Teen Brain & Behavior

May 25, 2016: Alcohol, Drugs & Adolescent Brain Development

May 18, 2016: Talk About the Dangers of Underage Drinking

April E- Newsletter: Talk 2 Prevent and Protect...their Brain!

Manhasset Press Talk with your Kids about Underage Drinking