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Meet the Doctors Lecture Addresses Under-Age Alcohol and Marijuana Use

Colleen Griffin Wagner, Pleasantville STRONG; John Fearon, Director, Mount Pleasant Public Library; Dr. Marcia Nackenson, NYMC

In spite of tumultuous weather conditions outside, this Wednesday’s Meet the Doctors lecture at the Mount Pleasant Public Library drew a healthy crowd. The topic of interest: Teenage Alcohol and Marijuana Use: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Headed? “It’s a very important subject,“ said key presenter Marcia Nackenson, M.D., clinical associate professor of pediatrics, who practices adolescent medicine, “and fortunately for our communities, we have motivated parents who really care about keeping their kids safe.”

Sponsored by NYMC with the Mount Pleasant Public Library and PleasantvilleStrong—a community coalition whose mission is to reduce underage drinking and drug use by youth within the community—the event drew approximately 45 attendees, primarily parents from the local community. 

Dr. Nackenson presented a wealth of relevant statistical data along with experiential information—from her practice, work and life—defining the reality of the underage drinking and marijuana use today. Dr. Nackenson helped parents understand the dangers and impacts of alcohol and marijuana on teenagers’ health, safety and their developing brains.  Additionally, as both a practicing adolescent medicine physician and the parent of two young men in their 20s, Dr. Nackenson offered clear advice for parents and their children on navigating the under-age years, encouraging clear boundaries, hands-on parenting, defined expectations for behavior and safety, and working with their pediatricians to keep their children safe and on track.

“While some of the statistics show positive trends in underage alcohol and drug use in the last decade, the reality is that 90 percent of 21-year-olds today have consumed alcohol and 41 percent of U.S. high school students have used marijuana," explains Dr. Nackenson. "As parents, we must keep talking with our kids about the risks and dangers of alcohol and drugs. We have to be as persistent as necessary to keep them safe. We can never stop worrying—it’s our job.”

Following her presentation, Dr. Nackenson was joined by Lieutenant Erik Grutzner, the Village of Pleasantville Police Department Youth Officer, for questions from the audience.