Waconia Patriot, Staff Reports

Read the full article on the Waconia Patriot website.

The Waconia HERO Coalition is tackling the issue of teen alcohol abuse head on.

On Thursday, Dec. 15, the coalition will host a forum aimed at fostering a conversation about social host ordinances. The meeting, slated for 6:30 p.m. at Waconia City Hall, is the coalition’s attempt to start an informed dialogue about the subject, according to HERO organizers.

The coalition’s move is spurred by data from the 2016 Minnesota Student Survey that shows underage drinking rates among Waconia students is higher than the state average. Among 11th grade boys, 29 percent of Waconia students reported using alcohol in the past 30 days. The state average among the same group was 24 percent, according to the survey. In response to a question about binge-drinking, 15 percent of 11th grade Waconia boys and 13 percent of 11th grade Waconia girls reported that they had participated in binge-drinking. Those figures are slightly higher than the state averages of 14 percent and 12 percent in the same peer groups, respectively. One area where Waconia students fell below the state average was general alcohol use among 11th grade girls – only 20 percent of Waconia students in that group reported using alcohol in the last 30 days while the state average stood at 25 percent. MORE