BURLINGTON (AP) - The Vermont Department of Health is trying to increase awareness of the dangers of underage drinking through local events for parents and students.

Deputy Health Commissioner Barbara Cimaglio says talking to kids can prevent drug and alcohol abuse. The department is holding a meeting for parents in Ludlow on April 22, followed by an April 24 presentation on the effects of drinking and drugs on the brain. An April 26 talk in Brattleboro will focus on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Essex has an Alcohol Awareness Poster Contest for students running April 21 through May 1. North Country Union High School, Lake Region Junior High School, and Orleans Middle School also will host workshops about alcohol and tobacco this month and next.