"Give Yourself a Chance" initiative aims to curb underage and binge drinking | Community Spirit
April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and local organizations are joining together to launch the "Give Yourself a Chance" initiative aimed to prevent underage and binge drinking in Georgia, especially among youth.
Research shows that 23 percent of Georgia youth have consumed alcohol before the age of 13, while nearly the same percentage of high school students admitted to binge drinking. These sobering statistics have inspired HEARTS for Families, and the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) to unveil the new campaign.
“In every school in every community in Georgia, underage drinking has become a widespread health and safety problem,” said Sue Laney, CEO of HEARTS for Families. “Unfortunately, most adolescents don’t realize the negative impact alcohol abuse can have until their health or future is at stake.”
As part of the “Give Yourself a Chance” campaign, Georgians between the ages of 9 and 25 are encouraged to participate in two creative contests that illustrate how they are achieving their goals by saying “NO!” to underage and binge drinking.
An art and essay contest, open to kids between 9 and 14, requires an original piece of art or an essay related to the theme. The winner of each category will receive an iPod Nano.
A PSA and poster contest is open to individuals between 11 and 25, with the top finisher in each category receiving a Kindle Fire. All participants will receive a certificate, while the top finishers have a shot at prizes including free passes to Stone Mountain, movie theater tickets and more. In addition, winning entries will be featured on “Give Yourself a Chance” social channels and will be featured in future alcohol awareness campaigns.
The campaign is not just aimed at youth. It is also designed to educate Georgia parents and guardians about the realities of underage drinking. Statistics reveal that 82 percent of Georgia high school students who consumed alcohol did so at their own house or at another home. Adults can be held liable for youth-related alcohol abuse and suffer serious legal consequences.
“As a parent, the things you say and do have tremendous influence on the decisions your child makes,” said Laney. “Take the time during Alcohol Awareness Month to talk to your children about not using alcohol. You can ultimately help them make better choices and live healthier lives.”
For more information on the campaign or to download contest entry forms, visit www.heartsforfamilies.org/GYAC. You can also follow “Give Yourself a Chance” on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
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