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Alcohol is the number one drug of choice for America's young people, with research indicating that the average age of first use of alcohol is now 11 years old. It's especially concerning when the research further indicates that young people in New Jersey appear to be experimenting with alcohol at a rate above that reported nationally. Approximately 407,000 underage youth in New Jersey drink each year.

DMHAS provides annual funding to the New Jersey Prevention Network to oversee and coordinate the statewide Childhood Drinking (CD) Coalition. The CD Coalition aims to initiate a comprehensive strategy to prevent underage drinking. Each county in New Jersey also hosts a countywide CD Coalition to address the local issues related to underage drinking. Advocacy efforts and parents and youth programs are provided.

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