As the first in a series of steps designed to eliminate the problem of underage drinking and illegal drug use by teenagers, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Gig Harbor Police Department and the Washington State Patrol are hosting a drug and alcohol forum. The forum will be held March 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Peninsula High School.

Gig Harbor Community Service Officer Lynn Mock said the forum will host several experts.

“We will have an emergency room doctor, a State Farm insurance agent, and a father who has lost his child to underage drinking,” Mock said. “What parents don’t know is if you’re gone and you’ve left your teenager at home and they have a party at your house and someone dies there, you’re still responsible for it.”

During the forum there will also be a drug recognition expert on hand to discuss the signs of drug use, a youth counselor, a recovering addict and high school students who will talk about alcohol and drug use.

The second step in the attempt to curb the problem of underage drinking, she said, is something she calls a party patrol. The agencies are teaming up again on an undisclosed date in March, she said, to respond to noise calls and intelligence they have gathered about party spots in the area.

“There is a big problem in this area with parents providing the alcohol at these parties,” Mock said. “We’re going to round the teens up and we will have drug and alcohol counseling there and then we’re going to call their parents to come pick them up. If the parents can’t pick them up they will be booked into jail.”

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