Underage Drinking & New Year’s

A new study shows that underage drinking is on the rise.

According to a national study, the number of minors treated in hospital emergency rooms for drinking in 2009 was four times more than the average daily figure.

Over 1,900 minors checked into the emergency room on New Year’s Day.

Generally, hospitals see around 550 minors daily.

For the Marquette County Health Department the numbers are troubling.

Sarah Derwin of the Health Department says the U.P. is generally above the national average.

And this year, Marquette General Hospital also saw a spike in underage drinking on New Year’s Eve.

Derwin says communication is the key to keep young people from wanting to drink.

And one way to see how prevalent an issue this is would be to ask minors to speak up.

In 2009, the Great Lakes Center for Youth Development asked youth to complete a survey based on their own experiences with alcohol and other substances.

This year, Marquette and Alger County young people will be asked to fill out the survey again.