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Community Comes Together to Discuss Dangers of Underage Drinking

Posted in Underage Drinking

In Foxboro, Massachusetts, students, parents, school officials, and other community activists came together Thursday for a special screening of the A&E show "Intervention" and a town hall discussion on the dangers of underage drinking.

The event, held at Showcase Live at Patriot Place, was organized by Comcast, A&E, and the Tri Town Drug and Alcohol Awareness Partnership, an organization of Mansfield, Foxboro, and Norton officials, parents, and students uniting to fight drug and alcohol abuse in the area.

Matt Kakley of the Sun Chronicle writes that Isha Raval, a junior at Foxboro High, said she got involved with the partnership through her work with her school’s chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions, and to show other students that alcohol isn’t needed for a good time.

"I don’t have to drink to have fun," she said. "There’s better ways to have fun."

The program kicked off with a screening of an episode of "Intervention," a series that deals with families and friends confronting their drug- and alcohol-addicted loved ones. The episode shown Thursday featured Jill, who began drinking in high school and became increasingly dependent on alcohol, causing her life to spiral out of control.

Kathi Meyer, whose 17-year-old daughter, Taylor, a King Philip Regional High School senior from Plainville, drowned last October in an alcohol-related incident, was featured in a town hall-style meeting after the screening, sharing her tragedy in the hopes that other parents do not have to experience what she has.

"She drowned because of the alcohol in her system, she got lost because of the alcohol in her system," Meyer said of her daughter.

Meyer told parents in the audience that the biggest regrets she had were not having access to her daughter’s Facebook.com account, the cell phone numbers of Taylor’s friends, and a better dialogue with fellow parents.

Meyer was joined on the panel by Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter and Jeff Van Vonderen, one of the three interventionists on the A&E program, and Cameron Clapp, a California native who, in 2001 at the age of 15, lost his right arm and both of his legs when he was struck by a speeding train after a night of drinking.

"I was in no conscious state to see or hear the train coming," he told the audience. "I should have been dead."

Thursday’s event drew so many attendees that only 400 could fit inside Showcase Live, with approximately 100 more watching a simulcast of the program in a nearby movie theater.