Georgia Governor's Office for Children and Families awards US$54,797 grant to state's Council on Alcohol and Drugs for media campaign to prevent, reduce underage drinking

Nevin Barich

Nevin Barich

Dec 5, 2011 – PRNewswire-USNewswire

ATLANTA , December 5, 2011 (press release) – Alcohol kills more kids and young people in Georgia than all illegal drugs combined. Contributing factors of underage drinking include easy access, high availability, advertising and marketing that target or appeal to youth audiences, low price, and social norms supporting drinking as a rite of passage.

Chuck Wade is the President and CEO of The Council on Alcohol and Drugs, a 42-year-old non-profit alcohol and drug prevention agency. Mr. Wade's background includes 15 years as a police officer, working undercover as a narcotics agent for 11 of those years. During that time he had firsthand experience witnessing the devastation that drugs and alcohol can cause in people's lives, stating that, "45% of the violent crime that happened in my jurisdiction back then was committed by people under the age of 21. At least 50% of the time they were under the influence of alcohol."

The Georgia Governor's Office for Children and Families (GOCF) recently awarded a $54,797 grant to The Council on Alcohol and Drugs to prevent and reduce underage drinking by providing a Compliance Checks Public Service Announcement Media Campaign. The Campaign will alert alcohol retailers in six counties with high rates of selling alcohol to underage youth about the dangers and consequences of doing so. In partnership with DoR's Alcohol and Tobacco Division and with support from the Governor's Office for Children and Families, the Alcohol Compliance Checks Public Services Announcement Media Campaign will work to prevent the sale of alcohol to persons under the age of 21. The campaign will improve retailers' and the public's awareness of the issue by delivering compliance check PSAs over the radio in the following six counties having high rates of selling to underage youth:

* Bibb County
* Charlton County
* Echols County
* Emanuel County
* Haralson County
* Tift County

The grant also provides for an Alcohol Compliance Checks webpage on the website. This webpage will be available in late November, 2011. Please let others in your area know about the website.

In 2010 the Governor's Office for Children and Families first asked the Council on Alcohol and Drugs to look at the problem of alcohol retailers selling alcohol to underage youth. The Council partnered with the Georgia Department of Revenue's Underage Alcohol Investigative Group to implement an Alcohol Compliance Checks Media Campaign in four Georgia counties to alert alcohol retailers of the dangers and consequences of selling alcohol to minors. The four counties listed below were selected as the pilot group for this initial campaign. Paid radio PSA ads aired for a two month period from June 1, 2010 – July 30, 2010 and newspaper ads ran concurrently for an eight week period. The following outcomes were achieved:

* Brantley County: 100% noncompliance reduced to 5.5%
* Terrell County: 100% noncompliance reduced to 6.3%
* Treutlen County: 66.7% noncompliance reduced to 0%
* Grady County: 57.1% noncompliance reduced to 22%

This program is made possible with funding from the Governor's Office for Children and Families under a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Enforcing the Underage Drinking Laws Block Grant Program, CFDA 16.727.

For more information about the program, please contact Dr. Gregg Raduka at The Council on Alcohol and Drugs at or at (404) 223-2384.

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