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New app aims to prevent substance abuse

In an effort to prevent Tennessee teens from drinking or smoking, the Sullivan County Anti-Drug Coalition has released an app available on both iPhone and Android. It is designed to help individuals find out if there is alcohol or tobacco advertising in the area that could be targeted at kids. The goal is to use the information gathered by the app to make changes that make Sullivan County a healthier place to live.

In another survey conducted by the SCAD Coalition, it was determined that a large number of school-aged children had tried alcohol. It also determined that smoking is down, but smokeless tobacco and chewing tobacco are both still popular. The prevention coordinator in Sullivan County said that she was surprised by the results. She also said that she hoped minors would use the app to make themselves more aware of the advertising going on around them.

While children may believe that having a beer is a relatively harmless endeavor, there could be many long-term consequences. Minors caught in possession of or consuming alcohol could face probation, time in juvenile detention facilities or other penalties. Probation could extend until a child is 18 or 21 regardless of how old he or she is when charged.

A criminal defense attorney may make it possible to have charges dropped or reduced. This may allow a minor to go into a diversion program if certain conditions are met. An attorney has several defense options such as casting doubt on witness testimony used in court. An attorney may also argue that a minor was forced to hold or consume alcohol against his or her will.

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