Leading researcher to speak to students about alcohol and drug a - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Leading researcher to speak to students about alcohol and drug abuse

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Eau Claire (WQOW)-  For more than a decade, John Underwood has been studying the effects drugs and drinking have on athletes.

"58% of 12th graders that are in sports report they've consumed alcohol during the school year; 20% report that they've used marijuana during the school year," Underwood says.  "The average age at which kids take their first drink, and that's one entire alcoholic beverage is age 11.9 for boys, age 13.1 for girls."

Underwood, President and Founder of the American Athletic Institute, suggests that teens take a long hard look at the group they run around with.

"The number one factor in use of those substances is who you hang out with.  No other factor is even close to that," Underwood says.  "You see a lot of good kids involved in things they shouldn't be involved in going through a door, I don't see so many of those kids coming back out of that door.  I see kids once they go through it, saying to other kids, hey come on, come do this.  We need kids that have not gone through that door saying to kids, come back and be an athlete.  That's the problem, it doesn't swing both ways right now."

Underwood will be speaking to local high schools during the next few days.  He spoke at Augusta High School Monday night.  He will be talking at Altoona tomorrow and at Memorial on Wednesday.

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