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General Calls for Action on Underage
Show & Tell
alcohol? Sober bars offer social connections without peer
pressure to drink
Its Saturday night. The lights are low. Frank Sinatras crooning voice fills the air, along with the aroma of incense. The place has all the makings of a swank boozy hangout.
Except for the booze.
Pops Blue Moon bar, a fixture of this beer-loving city since 1908, has joined an emerging national trend: alcohol-free spaces offering social connections without peer pressure to drink, hangovers or DUIs. From boozeless bars to substance-free zones at concerts marked by yellow balloons, sober spots are popping up across the nation in reaction to Americas alcohol-soaked culture, promising a healthy alternative for people in recovery and those who simply want to drink less.
We evolved as social creatures. This is a good trend if you want the experience of companionship and social culture but dont want the negatives, said William Stoops, a University of Kentucky professor who studies drug and alcohol addiction. It can help people make better choices.
A federal survey shows nearly 67 million Americans binge drink at least monthly, meaning women down four drinks during a single occasion, men five. Midwestern states have some of the highest binge-drinking rates in terms of both prevalence and intensity, putting millions of people at risk.
Research links excessive alcohol use to fatty liver, cirrhosis and cancers of the breast, liver, colon, mouth and throat as well as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, dementia, anxiety and depression. Nearly half of murders involve alcohol, according to studies. Drinking kills about 88,000 people annually, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. Such diseases and social ills cost the nation an estimated $249 billion a year.
Even one drink a day is unhealthy, said Dr. Sarah Hartz, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis. If youre going to drink, know its not good for you.
For Grigaitis, 41, who also goes by Joshua Loyal and is co-owner of Pops Blue Moon bar, tying all his fortunes to alcohol was "weighing on my soul after 20 years in the business. He cut way back on his own drinking and began holding boozeless Saturday nights in January, offering hop water, nonalcoholic beers and cannabis-derived CBD drinks.
I love everything about the bar business except the alcohol, he said. The nonalcoholic beverage movement is a growing group. Im making a decision to choose this and Im proud of it.
Chris Marshall, who founded Sans Bar in Austin, Texas, in 2015, got sober in 2007 and was working as a counselor when a client shared how difficult it was to navigate the social world without alcohol. The clients relapse and subsequent death was his call to action.
Sans Bar held a national tour this year with pop-up events in St. Louis, Portland, Ore., and Anchorage, Alaska, and opened a permanent location in Austin. It draws a largely female crowd all along the sobriety spectrum, from those in recovery to the sober curious. People gather for hours to sip handmade mocktails, talk, dance and listen to speakers and sober musicians.
If you closed your eyes on a Friday night, youd think you were in a regular bar, he said. This is not about being sober forever. This is about being sober for the night.
Alcohol as 'the wallpaper of people's lives'
Alcohol has become so ubiquitous that its perfectly acceptable to wear T-shirts announcing Mama needs some wine or Daddy needs a beer.
Its normalized, said Boston University School of Public Health professor David Jernigan. Its like the wallpaper of peoples lives.
Elsewhere, in Rock Hill, S.C., the high-end, second-hand store Clothes Mentor served margaritas at its annual clearance sale. Nearby, Liberty Tax served the tequila drink when customers went in to finish their taxes last April. A dentists office in the city that treats adults and children hosts after-hours drop-in events that include wine. None of those businesses responded to requests for comment.
Culturally, we know its not OK to hand out opioids when youre getting your hair or nails done, yet alcohol kills more people than opioids and businesses will hand it out, said Alexandra Greenawalt, director of prevention at the nonprofit addiction treatment center Keystone Substance Abuse Services in Rock Hill.
Washington, D.C., has 2,055 outlets that sell alcohol one for every 315 people, which Jernigan said is high. Some low-income, primarily African-American neighborhoods have few retail outlets other than liquor stores and convenience stores selling beer and wine.
Lothorio Ross, 38, started drinking at about 17 while on fishing trips with his father. Now homeless in D.C. and coping with alcoholism, he said, he can get alcohol on credit from some liquor stores. But he said he's trying to quit with the help of the nonprofit Father McKenna Center and reminding himself what life used to be like.
"Up until I started drinking in my teens, I was having fun," said Ross. "So, you can have fun without drinking, it is possible."
Outside major cities, entertainment often revolves around alcohol. Social worker Stephanie Logan-Rice said she grew up in Aberdeen, S.D., where her mother drank herself to death, succumbing to liver cirrhosis three years ago at 56.
Logan-Rice was in sixth grade when she realized her mother was drinking wine or vodka out of Tupperware glasses or plastic water bottles.
I just thought it was normal, she said.
When Logan-Rice, 39, got to high school, she drank from beer bongs in cars during lunch with friends and went to cornfields for keg parties. The drinking continued when she moved to Minnesota for college. In her 20s, she drank every day.
She finally quit five years ago. She now has two children her mother didnt live long enough to meet.
Since giving up booze, Logan-Rice said, she has seen alcohol in unexpected places even an assisted living facility that offered bottles of wine as door prizes when she attended an early-afternoon presentation about hospice care.
I get it if I go into a restaurant, she said. But not an assisted living place.
Declining a drink: Recovering alcoholics, the 'sober curious' and the health-conscious
Americas pervasive alcohol culture has pushed people to find creative ways to socialize soberly.
In South Carolina, the Keystone treatment center hosts events for local college students at Winthrop University featuring non-alcoholic beverages.
In Washington, D.C., members of a growing sober LGBTQ community organize dry reading groups and rafting trips and alcohol-free nights out instead of hitting gay bars. Tom Hill, a vice president at the National Council for Behavioral Health, who is gay and in recovery, said those activities create a sense of socialization and camaraderie to replace what they had.
Dangers of alcohol:
Nationally, sober raves such as Daybreaker morning dance parties have caught on, fueled only by dancing.
Still, Devra Gordon, a behavioral health therapist with Inova Comprehensive Addiction Treatment Services in Fairfax County, Va., said she advises people who are grappling with substance abuse to attend concerts and raves with just with their sober friends - and they should attend recovery meetings before and after. The meetings help avoid falling into a "'euphoric recall" where they romanticize past substance use, she said.
"Having fun and drinking alcohol is an illusion," said Cortez McDaniel, who is recovering from alcohol and drug abuse disorders and heads services at Father McKenna Center. "We have to stop believing the lie, and then we have to start practicing something different."
At Pops Blue Moon, Jaclynn Rowell, who reads tarot cards for customers, said the health benefits of no-booze nights are a big draw. And many are happy to avoid awkward questions about religion, pregnancy and sobriety that can arise at regular bars when someone asks why theyre not drinking.
Stephanie Keil, 39, spent two hours with friends there on a recent Saturday night and said shed love to see more boozeless bars.
Though she drinks now and then, places like these help her responsibly navigate nightlife in the city where Budweiser was born.
If you or someone close to you is
struggling with issues mentioned in this story and you would
like to connect with others online, join USA TODAYs "I
Survived It" Facebook support group. For help with a
drinking problem, check Alcoholics Anonymous, Smart Recovery
or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration's helpline at 800-662-HELP.
Higher Where Alcohol Outlets Proliferate
The Los Angeles Times reported Dec. 29 that drinking rates were higher among 12- to 17-year-olds who lived within a half-mile of an alcohol outlet, and that minority neighborhoods tended to have a higher density of alcohol outlets than predominantly white communities.
How do alcohol outlets affect communities?
"Our study suggests that living in close proximity to alcohol outlets is a risk factor for youth," according to the researchers. "In California, retail licenses are not typically approved within 100 feet of a residence or within 600 feet of schools, public playgrounds and nonprofit youth facilities, but proximity by itself is not sufficient to deny a license ... More attention on the proximity rule is needed and environmental interventions need to curb opportunities for youth to get alcohol from commercial sources."
The research was published online
ahead of publication in the American Journal of Public
The most common reason for drinking cited by both male and female 12th graders was to have a good time, followed by to experiment and to relax.
A statistical analysis of these motivations resulted in four profiles of drinking motivations: 1) experimenters; 2) thrill-seekers (drink to have a good time and to get high); 3) relaxers; and 4) multi-reasoners (drink for a combination of escape and pleasure-seeking motivations).
Youths with the lowest levels of risky drinking behaviors were more likely to be classified as experimenters while those with the highest levels of such behaviors were more likely to be classified as multi-reasoners.
The authors conclude that "targeted interventions that tailor program content to the distinct drinking motivation profiles may prove to be effective in reducing risky drinking behavior among high school seniors."
For details, including data charts, source information and caveats, download the PDF.
Reprinted from CESAR Fax, a weekly,
one-page overview of timely substance abuse trends or
issues, from the Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR)
at the University of Maryland.
In North America and many other industrialized societies, binge or excessive drinking during emerging adulthood is condoned, and perhaps even encouraged, particularly for those attending college. The article goes on:
Some argue that the college campus environment itself encourages heavy drinking. Alcohol use is present at most college social functions, and many students view college as a place to drink excessively. Students experience greater exposure to drinking and encounter higher levels of peer drinking and positive attitudes toward alcohol as they transition from high school to college.
Okay, enough quotes about it, perfect as they are. We all know that students drink to excess. Beer pong and flip-cup are two among several popular high school and college sports that involve binge drinking. Yours truly knew several people in high school who were already full blown alcoholics. College was worse.
Its really no joke. One-third of high school students drink regularly, and nearly 20% of them are binge drinking. More than 4,300 high-schoolers die from alcohol abuse every year. Not to mention, drinking regularly by age 15 (or younger) increases the chances of being alcohol-dependent by six times. The heaviest fact of all is that 90% of adult alcoholics began drinking while underage.
Regarding college students,
of them drink regularly, with 40% of them binge
drinking. This means that from
12th grade to freshman year at college, drinking doubles!
Plus, a quarter of college students suffer academic
consequences as a result of alcohol use. Lets not
forget the nearly 2,000 college students who die from
alcohol each year. The reason this statistic is lower for
college students than for high-schoolers is most likely
increases in tolerance.
approach to teen drinking
Consider the Kinahans, who were recently charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The incident occurred when police, responding to a noise complaint, discovered some teenagers drinking in their back yard during their son's birthday party. Before the party, these parents had talked with their child and his friends about rules and expectations. They stayed home to be available as an adult presence. They greeted guests at the door.
Even Lynne Johnston, a vocal member of Pratt-Wilson's committee, acknowledged that "These were not negligent parents. They are, in fact, very conscientious ones the teenage host asked [those who brought the alcohol] to leave and wouldn't let them inside the house. The uninvited trespassers would not leave and the parents had no idea there was an uninvited party outside."
The Kinahans hardly seem complacent. Their actions seem normal enough, if not the "norm." But Pratt-Wilson said she was "pleased" with police action in the case.
Read Pratt-Wilson's guest column of last Nov. 11 and her recent comments in the papers and you will find that her primary concern is with law enforcement and punishment. The police have increased their efforts at parental notification. Pratt-Wilson wants to see criminal charges.
But I doubt most Chapel Hillians are ready to throw the book at drinking teenagers and their parents (or, as in charging the Kinahans, someone else's parents). Community activist Will Raymond spoke for many when he wondered "if saddling a 13- or 14-year old with a court record, possibly forcing them into the juvenile system, is the best course of action?"
This perspective was articulated quite well in a Dec. 1 letter to the editor from George Entenman.
"I'm not going to endorse this committee's conclusions until I feel that they are truly interested in preparing our teens for adulthood. Like it or not, adults use alcohol and drugs. Yes, some of us choose not to drink or use drugs at all. Others succeed in using them in moderation."
Last Tuesday, one local paper ran an article headlined "Alcohol oversight tightens" and another announcing that "Downtown events may include alcohol." Teenagers may not read the news, but such contradictions are not lost on them.
Adult actions give minors a mixed message about drugs and alcohol of both the legal and illegal varieties: that they can be an accepted tool for coping, that they are a not-so-forbidden pleasure, and that they are a dangerous pitfall lurking at the edge of the playground. Teen awareness of parental drug use and abuse goes back at least as far as the Rolling Stones' 1960s hit "Mother's Little Helper."
Increasingly, parents respond to their own pressures by medicating their children. According to the CDC, there is a bull market for prescriptions for stimulants and antidepressants for children. By 1996, the UN's International Narcotics Control Board had seen enough and expressed concern over the extent of Ritalin use by American boys.
George Entenman asks, "Why doesn't [Pratt-Wilson's] committee search for ways to make the lives of our teens less stressful? Should we add a police 'crackdown' to the pressures on kids who had better get into an Ivy League school or else?
"We need a committee that doesn't seek to widen the social gap between children and adults. Let us find ways for young people and adults to include each other in conversations, meals, work and social activities.
"Let us learn to listen to and respect each other. Expecting our police, judges and prisons to solve our problems is even less realistic than expecting our teachers to."
Entenman has formulated a compelling argument for our community. It avoids the simplistic morality of the law-and-order approach. Instead, it recognizes the complex nature of human affairs, particularly our love-hate relationship with drugs and alcohol. It challenges us to incorporate a human dimension into our thinking about the challenges facing those on the cusp of adulthood.
Surely among the many attendees of the
recent meeting of the Committee for Alcohol and Drug Free
Teen-agers, there are some who share Ent-enman's
perspective. It is up to them to broaden the leadership of
their group and not leave it primarily in the hands of a
Most people enjoy a couple of cocktails on their birthday. However, if you're more inclined to go all out and get wasted, a new study from Washington University in Seattle shows that binging to celebrate the milestone can set habits that last for months afterwards.
The study followed 600 soon-to-be 21-year-olds who intended on celebrating their newfound legality by drinking. The researchers followed the subjects for a year and found that those who drank a lot on their birthday drank more heavily afterwards as well.
During the study's follow-up period, people who went all out on their birthdays drank 10 percent more than the typical participant on a night out. When compared to those who never drank before their birthday, the number rose to 17 percent.
In the U.S., if you have one glass of wine a night, you are in the top 30 percent of drinkers. Having two glasses every night puts you in the top 20 percent and 10 drinks per day, according to Stephen Cook's book "Paying The Tab," puts you in the top 10 percent.
So enjoy your birthday, but try not to go overboard. It
could have more consequences than that dreaded hangover the
This website can help you find out. Start by answering a few short questions about your past and present use of various drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, tobacco, inhalants or alcohol. You'll get feedback about the likely risks of your drug use, and advice about when and where to seek more information, evaluation, and help.
a Developmentally Sensitive Approach to Prevent Teen
Understanding and addressing alcohol use within a developmental framework was one of the goals outlined in the Surgeon Generals Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking released last March. Experts from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) will explain what that means for community coalitions and prevention specialists at CADCAs National Leadership Forum XVIII next week.
If youre going to work in the community on underage drinking, its important to understand the phenomenon of underage drinking and see how it fits into growing up in the United States. So that perhaps you can do a better job of intervening and approach it in a way thats consistent with a persons development, explained Dr. Vivian Fader, Deputy Director of the NIAAAs Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research, and one of the presenters at CADCAs Forum.
Dr. Faden and Ralph Hingson, Sc.D., Director of the NIAAAs Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research, will lead a workshop entitled The Alcohol-Adolescent Connection: What We Know About It and What We Can Do About It. During the workshop, they will discuss the unique processes that take place during adolescence and how community coalitions can apply a developmentally sensitive approach to their underage drinking prevention and intervention efforts.
Dr. Faden said adolescence is a time of dramatic changesboth biological and social. That, combined with the many social transitions teens go through, such as transitioning from elementary to middle school to high school, can increase social pressures, stresses, and expectations that contribute to underage drinking.
We need to consider development when we design interventions and we cant have a one size fits all approach for youth of all ages, she noted. You cant use the same approach for a 10 year old that you would use on a 19 year old.
The Forum workshop will not only explore strategies and interventions that coalitions can use, but also how the NIAAA developed this approach. Topics will include human development, epidemiology, and the physiological effects of alcohol.
In addition to this important
workshop, the Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Steven K.
Galson, M.D., M.P.H., will provide a keynote speech at the
Forum on February 14 to discuss the Surgeon Generals
Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking.
CADCAs National Leadership Forum XVIII will be held
February 11-14, 2008 at the Walter E. Washington Convention
Center in Washington, D.C. Click here for more
Although suicide in adolescents occurs infrequently, it remains the second leading cause of death for this age group. A significant risk factor for suicide in adolescents is the use of alcohol. Drinking alcohol reduces the ability to inhibit or stop behavior, depresses mood and impairs decision making and can lead those at risk for suicide to engage in suicidal behavior.
Motivational interviewing (MI) interventions are a type of intervention through which clinicians encourage patients to change negative or harmful behaviors by allowing them to discuss the ways these behaviors affect them. Through MI, clinicians work with people to establish a plan for changing harmful behaviors. Previous studies have shown that MI is effective for reducing adolescent alcohol and drug use. Motivational interviewing has also been shown to be an effective intervention for adults hospitalized for suicidal ideation and behavior.
While the interaction between alcohol use and increased risk for suicide in adolescents is clear, interventions for suicidal behavior generally do not focus on alcohol use. Dr. Kimberly OBrien and her team tested a motivational interviewing intervention called Alcohol and Suicide Intervention for Suicidal Teens (ASIST) to determine if an intervention addressing both alcohol use and suicidal behavior would be helpful to hospitalized adolescents.
Is a brief MI intervention helpful to adolescents hospitalized for suicidal behavior who also use alcohol?
Dr. Kimberly OBrien and her team recruited 50 adolescents who were psychiatrically hospitalized for a suicide attempt. At the beginning of the study, clinicians assessed the participants, asking them questions about their alcohol and drug use over the past 90 days using the Timeline Follow-Back Interview; suicidal ideation experienced over the past month with the Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire; and suicide attempts in the past three months with a single question from the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale. Participants were again asked these questions during a follow-up assessment three months after hospital discharge.
The participants were assigned to one of two groups. One group received the Alcohol and Suicide Intervention for Suicidal Teens (ASIST) along with Treatment as Usual (TAU) as described below. The other group received only TAU.
Patients in the ASIST group participated in two treatment sessions. During the first session, each adolescent met individually with a clinician who asked them about their opinions toward their alcohol use, and how their alcohol use interacts with their suicidal ideation and behavior. Each participant was then asked to establish goals related to these behaviors, create a plan for change, and identify strategies for effecting change. The clinician would discuss these behaviors with the adolescent and then provide them with personalized feedback. This feedback aimed to help the participant understand how alcohol use affects them and interacts with their suicidal behavior.
Adolescents in the ASIST group also participated in a family session with their parent(s). During this session, the adolescent described their goals, change plan, and strategies for change to their parent(s). The adolescent then identified ways for their parents to provide support in achieving these goals. Finally, participants in the ASIST group were asked 20 questions relating to whether they felt the intervention was helpful.
For participants who received TAU, clinicians performed an evaluation to determine which of the adolescents mental health problems required the most attention. The participant then received medication, if necessary. TAU included both individual and family sessions aimed at addressing a healthier lifestyle through psychoeducation, or clinician-provided instruction on exercise, sleep and nutrition. Each participant created a safety and coping plan to assist them in resisting suicidal behavior. Alcohol use was only addressed in the TAU group if the clinician determined it to be a significant problem for that participant. The TAU group had an enhanced version of treatment in order to maintain the same level of contact between the patient, their family and the treatment team. Treatment was much more extensive than what would have been typically provided.
Researchers found that all 50 participants completed either the ASIST intervention or TAU. Of these participants, 82 percent (20 in the ASIST group, and 21 in the TAU group) completed the follow-up assessment three months later. These results showed that the ASIST intervention was feasible, and can be used during hospitalization. Additionally, 92 percent of adolescents who received the ASIST intervention indicated that it helped them to understand the relationship between their alcohol use and suicidal behavior. Participants in both groups reported significantly reduced suicidal ideation alcohol use, marijuana use, and tobacco use, and greater confidence in reducing their alcohol use. Since both groups improved, the study did not demonstrate that the ASIST intervention was better than the enhanced TAU in terms of reducing the severity of suicidal ideation or alcohol use.
Dr. Kimberly OBrien received an
AFSP Young Investigator Research Award for this work in
April 2019. She was also awarded a grant from the National
Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) as a
result of her AFSP funded study.
Calls for Action on Underage Drinking
"We can no longer ignore what alcohol is doing to our children," said Moritsugu in issuing the first Surgeon General's policy aimed at the issue of underage drinking. The "Call to Action" was developed in cooperation with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
"Too many Americans consider underage drinking a rite of passage to adulthood," said Moritsugu. "Research shows that young people who start drinking before the age of 15 are five times more likely to have alcohol-related problems later in life. New research also indicates that alcohol may harm the developing adolescent brain. The availability of this research provides more reasons than ever before for parents and other adults to protect the health and safety of our nation's children."
The Call to Action puts great emphasis on changing public attitudes toward youth alcohol use, while also giving a nod to some of the other factors that influence youth decisions to drink, including the "normal maturational changes that all adolescents experience; genetic, psychological, and social factors specific to each adolescent; and the various social and cultural environments that surround adolescents, including their families, schools, and communities."
"These factors -- some of which protect adolescents from alcohol use and some of which put them at risk -- change during the course of adolescence," Moritsugu noted in his introduction to the Call to Action. "Because environmental factors play such a significant role, responsibility for the prevention and reduction of underage drinking extends beyond the parents of adolescents, their schools, and communities. It is the collective responsibility of the nation as a whole and of each of us individually."
"This is a health crisis that has been fueled by denial, inaction and acceptance. The new Call to Action can help turn that around," said Hawaii lieutenant governor James R. Aiona, Jr., co-chair of the group Leadership to Keep Children Alcohol Free, a public-private coalition that includes a number of state governors' spouses.
The goals of the Call to Action include:
The Surgeon General did not list the alcohol industry -- often accused by critics of marketing to underage youth -- in its list of primary target audiences, nor was alcohol advertising mentioned as one of the environmental factors affecting youth decisionmaking about alcohol. "The industry got off very easy in this pronouncement," said Kim Miller, manager of federal relations for the Center for Science in the Public Interest. "The industry's conflict of interest as a credible prevention player was not questioned, and there was only oblique reference to evidence-based policy approaches the industry most adamantly opposes -- taxation being top among them."
However, the Call to Action does say that the industry "has a public responsibility relating to the marketing of its product, since its use is illegal for more than 80 million underage Americans." The document states that the industry can fulfill its responsibilities by ensuring that:
Center on Alcohol Marketing to Youth director David Jernigan noted that the Call to Action "states that alcohol companies have a responsibility to see that youth are not disproportionately exposed to alcohol marketing, and that ongoing, independent monitoring of the placement of alcohol advertising is the surest way to enforce this standard."
"To reduce the appeal of alcohol to young people, the alcohol industry should heed the recommendations of the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine [to limit alcohol ads to outlets with underage viewer/readership of less than 15 percent] and the Surgeon General," said Jernigan.
Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona signaled his intention to issue the statement on underage drinking in 2005, but resigned last year without doing so.
"The Surgeon General's Call to Action
places a heightened national focus on the public health
crisis of underage drinking in our country," said Rep.
Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), the lead sponsor of the
STOP Underage Drinking Act, which calls for research on
alcohol use by youth and establishes a national media
campaign on underage drinking. "I commend this initiative as
a way to bring more attention and explore promising
solutions to the problem. I'm especially pleased that the
broad-based effort complements the objectives and major
elements in The STOP Underage Drinking Act which was signed
into law last year."
For teens, one of the many distractions leading to car accidents is a disruptive passenger. In fact, many states enforce laws restricting the number of occupants allowed in a teen-driven car.
Some passengers turn up the music, move around, and engage in distracting conversation, among many other bad habits, pulling the driver's attention from the road. Knowing how to be a responsible passenger can be just as important as piloting the car.
Keep These Tips in Mind
Teens should follow these simple suggestions when riding with another teen driver:
Be Your Own Safety Advocate
All it takes is a second of poor decision-making for an accident to happen. When you and the driver act as a team, you heighten your chances of arriving safely at your destination.
Car accidents are the leading cause of teenage deaths. In fact, teen drivers are 9x more likely to be involved in an accident than experienced drivers. For more information visit our teen driving statistics page.
Check Out Our Teen Driving Resources
An educated, experienced driver will always perform better in hazardous situations. That's why we encourage you to check out the following pages for helpful teen driving information:
Dont Serve Teens"
"We Don't Serve Teens" is a national
campaign to prevent underage drinking brought to you by the
Federal Trade Commission, the nation's consumer protection
Colleges Need to Know Now: An Update on College Drinking
Statistics and recommendations first introduced in this report are now routinely used by policymakers, legal experts, and organizations that provide college programming assistance to modify their efforts regarding college drinking.
College drinking research remains a high priority for the NIAAA, and ongoing projects continue to yield important new information. This bulletin summarizes these recent findings with updated statistics, analysis, and recommendations.
The full bulletin (12 pages) is
available as a PDF to download at no cost. at
Parents Let Teens Drink At Home?
As many as 700,000 kids ages 12 to 14 -- or 6 percent of those in that age group -- said they drank in the past month in a recent report conducted by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Of the 45 percent who said they got the alcohol for free at home, 16 percent said it came from a parent or guardian. The poll didn't ask for details about how much alcohol they consumed or in what situation they had a drink.
One father, Terry Moran, said he won't let his kids drink alcohol until they're legal, according to the "Today" show.
"Because kids start thinking that, 'Hey, if my parents think it's OK, then I can just go experiment, hang out with my friends and drink.' I see it happen all the time," Moran told NBC.
One teen who spoke to NBC said his parents sometimes give him small amounts of alcohol at dinner.
"They would give me alcohol at home first, small doses -- a glass of wine here, maybe a glass of beer with dinner," he said. "It taught me responsibility, for the most part."
Psychologist Elaine Moore says that many teenagers are going to experiment with drinking no matter what, and they're typically not mature enough to handle it well. Mothers and fathers can help, but declined to speculate on whether giving alcohol to teen children at home is the solution.
"I don't think there's a right answer," Moore told NBC. "I think it's really, really important for parents to teach their kids to drink responsibly."
Peter Delany, the director of SAMHSA's Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, said the earlier that teens start drinking, the more likely they are to become alcoholics.
"When kids under age 15 start drinking and drinking heavily, they are about six times more likely to end up with alcohol problems," he told the Wall Street Journal. "This report isn't designed to say, 'Bad parents!' It's designed to say, 'Here's an issue you should pay attention to.'"
In fact, according to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 50 percent of young people in America are binge drinking by they time they're 21 and 86 percent of them have consumed alcohol.
"Twenty-five percent of 'Seventeen' readers say their parents let them drink at home," the magazine's editor-in-chief Ann Shoket told "Today." "But what they're learning is not necessarily how to drink. What they're learning is trust."
The research to date is inconclusive on the potential perils of letting your kids drink at home. But no matter what, psychiatrist Janet Taylor believes parents should at least be talking to their children about drinking, especially about the hazards of binge drinking.
"It gets back to the quality of the relationship and how much communication is happening at home," Taylor told the show.
Says Bingeing Worse at Colleges with Big Drinking Culture,
Science Daily reported July 11 that the conclusions from the Harvard School of Public Health's College Alcohol Study were based on surveys of more than 50,000 students at 120 schools.
"Binge drinking among college students varies widely from college to college," said Toben Nelson of the University of Minnesota, assistant director of the study. "At some colleges almost no students binge drink, while at others nearly four in every five students do. Interestingly, we found that the levels of binge drinking, and the problems related to it, remain very stable at the same colleges over time ... That suggests there is something about certain college environments that promote binge drinking,"
Researchers found that schools that emphasize intercollegiate athletics and Greek life had higher levels of binge drinking, while there were fewer drinkers at schools that ban alcohol on campus and offer substance-free dorms.
"A 'wet' college environment, one that has many stores where students can buy alcohol, and may be influenced to do so by heavy marketing, low prices and special promotions, creates the conditions for heavy drinking," said study director Henry Wechsler of Harvard. "If colleges can change those conditions, they can reduce binge drinking among their students."
The study was published in the July 2008 issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
This article summarizes an external
report or press release on research published in a
scientific journal. When available, links to the sources are
Yogi Bearing is much different for Yogi Bearing It which is when someone is wearing nothing but a neck tie and a collar. Similar to "Donald Ducking it", except more nude/formal. It also has nothing to do with Yogi Bearings
Must friend to see. We haven't joined.
Falling from heights, getting into car accidents or becoming sexualized victimized: A new study confirms that college students who get drunk at least once a week put themselves at much higher risk of serious injury or death from events like these than those who shy away from excessive drinking.
"Each year, approximately 1,700 college students die from alcohol-related injuries," said researcher Dr. Mary Claire O'Brien, a professor of emergency medicine and public health sciences at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, in Winston-Salem, N.C.
The finding has a practical side: O'Brien's team believes a simple screening question that asks students how many days they get drunk in a typical week could help pinpoint those at-risk students in need of help.
Asking students how many drinks they consume per day or week may not be as helpful, O'Brien pointed out. "In my experience, patients lie about how much they drink, and screening tests based on quantity don't account for differences in weight, gender, alcohol tolerance, body metabolism, medications and other variables. What it takes to make someone drunk varies from individual to individual."
The results are part of an ongoing, five-year research project to develop effective ways to reduce problem drinking on college campuses.
College students who got drunk at least once a week were three times more likely to be injured or hurt as a result of their own drinking than students who didn't get drunk as often, the researchers found. They were also twice as likely to fall from a height and require medical care, and 75 percent more likely to be sexually victimized.
Students who get intoxicated at least once a week were three times more likely to be in an automobile collision caused by someone else's drinking, the researchers added.
The Wake Forest study involved students from 10 North Carolina universities.
The researchers presented the findings Monday at the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine annual meeting, in New York City.
Booze is the answer. I don't remember the question.
Social Host Ordinance in Lane County - Presentation Transcript
1.Lane Countys New Social Host Ordinance
2.What is it?
3. An ordinance that holds non-commercial individuals responsible for underage drinking events on property they lease, own or otherwise control;
Covers only unincorporated areas in Lane County;
4.What is an unincorporated area?
5.Ada Alvadore Belknap Springs Blachly Blue River Brickerville Cheshire Crow Culp Creek Cushman Deadwood Dexter Disston Dorena Elmira Fall Creek Finn Rock Gillespie Corners Glenada Goshen Greenleaf Heceta Beach Horton Jasper Lancaster Leaburg London Springs Lorane Low Pass Mabel Malabon Mapleton Marcola McCredie Springs McKenzie Bridge Minerva Mohawk Nimrod Noti Pleasant Hill Rainbow Riverview Saginaw Santa Clara Searose Beach Siltcoos Swisshome Tiernan Triangle Lake Vaughn Vida Walden Walker Walterville Walton Wendling Westlake Unincorporated Areas of Lane County:
7.Why is the Social Host Ordinance Important?
8. Alcohol is the most widely used addictive
substance in Oregon;
Researchers found that 45% of people who began drinking before age 14 developed later alcohol dependence, compared with only 10% of those who waited until they were 21 or older to start drinking;
More than one of every 20 youth between the ages of 12 and 17 suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence requiring treatment.
9.Nature and Extent of the Problem:
10. In Oregon, youth who drink are more likely to be involved in other risky behaviors:
11. In Lane County :
Alcohol use among eighth grade youth is increasing;
binge drinking rates were about the same as the state average
The 2006 rates of alcohol use and binge drinking among 11 th grade youth are higher than the state average
12. Other Reasons This Matters
13. If you are charged with violating the Social Host Ordinance:
Your home owners insurance may increase
Another adult can hold you civilly liable and any injuries, alcohol poisoning, or sexual assaults that occur may result in lawsuits
You could be charged for medical bills or property damage, or sued for emotional suffering or pain
Someone could become injured or die
14. What are the Consequences?
1 st offense Fine of $500
2 nd offense $750 fine and
the cost of response providers to the site of the party
Subsequent offenses within a 3 year period $1000 fine and the cost of response providers.
16.What Can YOU Do?
Set a good example
Know the warning signs for underage drinking
grades suddenly decline
18. Talk to your kids
set ground rules with your teen before any party
19. For more information, go to: www.lanecounty.org/prevention
How well your birth control method
works for you depends on how well you use it.
Vaccines required of teens in Oregon: Are Shots Required To Attend School in Oregon?
Yes. Students in grades 7 - 9 need
proof of a Tdap shot to stay in school now, and 10th graders
will need a dose for the 2011-2012 school year. Tdap is a
vaccine that protects against three diseases - tetanus,
diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). Tdap is
recommended for all adolescents, as well as adults under 65
years of age. Other shots that are required for school
include MMR, polio, hepatitis B, and varicella. Hepatitis A
vaccine will be required for students in all grades in
school year 2014-2015. A medical or religious exemption is
Former Republican Congressional
Candidate Accused Of Paying Male Escort For Sex
America's Most Innovative Cities: 24/7 Wall St.
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen
6 Medical Myths Even Your Doctor
May Still Believe
What I feel compelled to take issue with, and the reason I am writing this treatise, is that the actual paradigm of medical care has not changed much in spite of all of our technological advances. Physicians have been extensively trained and have held steadfast in the belief that presenting symptoms are entities unto themselves. These symptom complexes have been treated as if they have a life of their own, separate and apart from the innocent bystander host, the person with the medical problem. We have divided the human body into a jigsaw puzzle of component parts. We've taken the jigsaw puzzle apart and assigned a specialist to address each one of these pieces of the whole, losing sight of the fact that everything is part of the whole, and everything we do as physicians to each little part affects the whole person. This has fostered the current allopathic paradigm of "symptom care" in lieu of the more important issue of "health care."
In order to establish a system that is truly focused on health care, we need to expose some "myths" that will allow us to unlock the door to creating a more efficient and successful healthcare delivery system.
Myth #1- Technology has improved healthcare
Ask any physician if he believes that technology has improved health care and you will get a resounding "Yes!" Advances in medical technology now enable us to look inside the human body with relative ease and with great detail. Our surgical tools allow us to operate on all parts of the body with a minimum of trauma and blood loss. Technology has helped us improve the quality of life for millions of patients every year. It has enabled us to save countless lives as well. Therefore, it is certainly a foregone conclusion that technology has, in fact, improved our health. Or has it?
Statistically, since the age of technology, there has been an onslaught of increasing pathology. The amount of illness and morbidity in our society is dramatically rising. There are now more cases of cancer, heart disease, arthritis, auto-immune illnesses, endocrine disorders, developmental disorders, allergies, respiratory problems, infectious diseases, neurological problems, musculo-skeletal pathology, gastro-intestinal disorders, psychological illness, etc., than ever before.
While it is true that our technology has enabled us to better handle the enormity of disorders now facing mankind, it has done literally nothing for "health care." If it had, we would have seen a decrease in the amount of illness and pathology in society. We would have experienced a drop in the amount of people requiring intervention from the medical community. Pharmaceutical companies would not be as rich and powerful as they are if people would be less dependent on medication to "feel well". If anything, advances in technology have fostered a narrow field of vision, focused more on early detection and intervention than on prevention. If, by definition, health care means "the maintenance of good health," then technology has failed miserably to produce any measurable improvement in the overall state of health of mankind.
Myth #2 - Inflammation is bad
Ask any doctor what to do about inflammation and the answer will be a uniform, "Take an anti-inflammatory." While it is true that taking medication to suppress inflammation can certainly lead to increased comfort, should we be doing that in the first place? Is inflammation bad? Is it something that occurs by freak accident, some physiologic aberration, that occurs and causes great distress and suffering amongst mankind? We have been conditioned to think of inflammation as something bad because it causes pain and makes us miserable, therefore it should be medicated and suppressed. Right? Wrong.
Inflammation is a directed response by the immune system designed to detoxify, repair and protect tissues under any form of functional or metabolic stress. It is important to understand the purpose of inflammation in order to see why we should not work to suppress it, but rather to support it.
Whenever there are tissues in our body under any form of functional or metabolic stress, the problem will be immediately identified by the immune system. It first recruits a pathway called primary inflammation. This pathway is employed by the body in order to detoxify the tissues under stress (as tissues under stress increase their metabolic rate and produce more toxic by-products) as well as facilitate the repair of any injured cells. A primary inflammatory response will produce no symptoms in low-level stress situations, as long as it is efficient in managing the problem. You would not even know that this process is going on because there are no identifiable symptoms such as pain, swelling, redness and heat. Cardinal signs of inflammation will occur only when there is rapid, high level stress in an area such as in acute trauma, repetitive stress episodes, allergic/toxic reactions and metabolic disease.
In situations where the stress on the tissues is beyond the capability of the primary pathway, or in situations where there is an inefficient inflammatory response (we will discuss this later in the treatise), the immune system will then incorporate the secondary, or chronic, inflammatory pathway. This pathway is a protective pathway. It prevents rapid tissue destruction by allowing for cellular adaptation to the stress as well as the release of pain-causing chemicals to prevent continued "overuse and abuse" of the involved part. Therefore, the patient becomes aware that there is a problem because they are in pain.
Now that you understand this simplified explanation of inflammation, you can see that inflammation is actually a good thing. It is the body's way of trying to help itself deal with these kinds of issues. It should be obvious then, that anti-inflammatory medications actually impair the body's ability to detoxify, repair and protect itself. Additionally, these medications add toxic load to the body and are responsible for many varied side effects.
What makes more sense, empirically, is to treat these problems mechanistically and supportively. In other words, we want to work to help make the pathway of primary inflammation more efficient, with supportive, rather than suppressive, protocols. There are many natural medicines that can help accomplish the task of supporting our bodies, be they homeopathic, nutritional or herbal. Additionally, we want to be able to identify the reason(s) that this pathway is not functioning efficiently.
It is imperative that we look more comprehensively into our patient's physiology in order to detect reasons why the immune system is not up to the task it is being called upon to perform. To do this, we need to understand our patient's lifestyle, diet, adrenal health, the presence of food sensitivities, free-radical levels (free-radicals being compounds that essentially are responsible for cellular damage and degeneration over time), metabolic function analysis and perhaps other tests. In other words, we must work to comprehensively understand our patient's total health picture and not just concentrate on the body part involved in the pathology.
Myth #3 - Genetically coded diseases are unavoidable
How many times have you heard someone say, "My mother had arthritis, that's why I have it"? We now believe, through scientific technology, that many diseases are inherited. Genes for specific diseases have been recognized via gene mapping. Many of you may know or have heard of women who have had total bilateral mastectomies, completely prophylactically, because their mothers died of breast cancer, firmly believing that they could not avoid the same fate.
Let's take a closer look at this issue. If having a gene for any illness condemns you to having that disease, then why are you not born with the disease you are coded to have? Why isn't every person who carries a gene for disease suffering at all times from that disease? The answer is that all genes do not express themselves at all times and many never do. There must be a reason why the body would call upon a gene to express itself. Otherwise, none of us would be able to survive the onslaught of genetic expression. So what is it that causes a gene to express itself? If you consider for a moment that diseases are just a complex of symptoms being incorporated by the body in an attempt to protect itself from tissue destruction and/or imminent death, you may begin to get a clearer understanding of what I am trying to say. Once we begin to pay attention to the reasons that a gene might express itself, we may be able to prevent that gene from releasing its code for illness.
To do this, one must look again at the lifestyle of the patient. As stated earlier, degenerative illness is a function of free radical damage to our cells over time. If someone carries the gene for arthritis, for example, one would expect genetic coding to foster storage of free radicals in their joint tissues. The prolonged exposure to these free radicals over time will cause progressive vicariations, which lead to cellular damage and eventual joint destruction.
But what if we intervene on behalf of gene expression by controlling the formation and liberation of free radicals in the body? Would there then be a need for the gene to express itself? I contend that there would be no need for this gene to express because, as I stated earlier, disease is the body's way of protecting itself from rapid destruction of tissues and/or imminent death. If it doesn't have to go to extraordinary lengths to protect itself, the gene remains dormant and no disease ensues.
So, again, we must look at the lifestyle and diet of the patient to discover why their body is failing to control the formation, liberation and damage caused by free radicals. You have all heard the term "antioxidants" and for good reason. Antioxidants are the nutrients we require in order to neutralize free radicals so they can then be eliminated from the body in a harmless form. Many people in our society live on nutrient deficient diets from highly processed and refined foods that do not supply essential nutrient protection.
You should be beginning to see the pattern here. Are we treating cancer by cutting it out? Are we treating arthritis by suppressing the protective inflammation brought about by years of free radical damage? Does coronary artery bypass grafting cure cardiovascular disease? Of course not. Our goal should be in maximizing understanding of cause and effect and employing life affirming, nutrient-rich diets with a healthy, wholesome, natural lifestyle. This is the way to "prevent" genetically coded diseases.
Myth #4 - Medications improve health
We are, in this country, the most heavily medicated society on the planet. People are taking medications to control the symptoms of countless diseases. These medications are either prescribed by their physicians or purchased over the counter by the patient. I have seen, in my practice, thousands of elderly patients taking upward of 10 prescription medications as well as a few over-the-counter ones. If you ask the average senior how they are feeling, most will say that they feel awful in spite of their medications. How could this be? If the medications are supposedly "keeping them healthy," how come they feel so bad? There are a number of reasons for this.
First of all, every medication swallowed is perceived by the immune system as a "poison," because there is nothing in nature that would ever present to the G.I. tract in that form of chemicals. This added "toxic load" places additional stress on the body. These chemicals must be detoxified and eliminated by the body. This need to detoxify causes stress in the liver and kidneys and can damage these vital organs.
Additionally, all medications, because they are designed to interfere with natural body physiology, will produce inevitable side effects. Why? In every situation where a drug is used to block symptoms (the roadblock), the body will undergo physiologic compensations in an effort to get around the roadblock. So, the body will recruit different physiologic pathways in an attempt to bypass the roadblock. Hence, the patient will experience new symptoms as these other pathways elicit undesired effects. Some of the side effects can be potentially more disabling than the symptoms they are being used to treat.
Many side effects are treated with additional drugs, further increasing the toxic load. The other issue most important to understand is that the symptoms are a directed response by the body to solve whatever issue needs to be dealt with. If you inhibit these symptoms with medications, symptoms will return when the drug is withdrawn if the body has not successfully solved the problem.
So, what am I saying here? Quite simply, if a patient has high blood pressure and is taking medication to control it, and then they cease taking it, they will see their blood pressure rise again. If they are suffering with an inflammatory problem and are taking anti-inflammatories to control their discomfort, and cease taking their meds, they will again be in pain. If they are suffering with sinus congestion and take a decongestant, they will feel congested again if the drug is withdrawn. Empirically then, we see that the medication has not at all improved their health, just their symptoms.
Myth #5 - Childhood immunizations protect us from serious disease
It's a foregone conclusion that upon the birth of your new baby, immunizations will start as soon as possible to protect your child from many serious childhood illnesses that can devastate his/her health. Pediatricians set up important immunization schedules to be adhered to so that the baby is not left unprotected. In years gone by, many children were afflicted with polio, measles, mumps, Rubella, influenza, small pox, diphtheria, whooping cough and others. Of course, the majority of these children recovered without incident (other than polio, which caused permanent nerve damage most of the time), but there were some children who had serious sequelae and even some who died from these diseases. Modern science discovered a way to confer immunity on these children so that they would never become afflicted with these diseases, and for the most part, it has been successful. The question is, at what price?
If we think for a moment that we are taking infants with immature thymus glands (the main gland responsible for proper immune system function does not mature until around five years of age) and exposing them to numerous live and attenuated viruses, much more frequently than the child could possibly be exposed to any of these diseases, we may begin to understand some of the very discomfiting statistics that have evolved since the age of immunization. Rather than decreasing childhood morbidity and improving the health of all subsequent generations being immunized against these diseases that have affected mankind for thousands of years, we have instead seen a dramatic rise in childhood illness in the form of ADD, ADHD, autism, allergies, learning disabilities, infectious diseases, auto-immune illnesses and, most importantly, cancer. Cancer has been on a frighteningly dramatic rise in small children over the past decades and shows no signs of letting up. Mortality rates for childhood cancers are unacceptably high although technology has slowed the course of death.
Is there anyone out there, like myself, who is not convinced these childhood morbidity statistics have nothing to do with immunizations? Have we traded off less serious illness for more devastating disease? How did mankind survive and thrive through thousands and thousands of years without being immunized? Are we interfering in a way that has created a weakening, rather than a strengthening, of the human immune system? Is it possible that we are interfering with the natural course of genetic mutation that would have rendered authentic immunity to these diseases? There are too many unanswered questions here for my comfort level.
It is my opinion that it is incumbent upon epidemiologists to delve deeply into this possibility and definitively rule out a link between immunization and childhood morbidity from the aforementioned conditions.
Myth # 6 - The double blind - placebo controlled study guarantees safety and efficacy in drug therapy
At this point in the history of mankind, we have been conditioned to abhor symptoms of any kind. Headaches, sneezing, coughing, colds, allergies, pain, infections, hypertension, etc., are no longer tolerated as a part of the process of living. Rather than look into the mechanisms that may be causing these symptoms, we are reaching for the medicine that will suppress them. In so doing, we may feel better, but we now have no motive to look at causes and correct for the issues that may be impairing our health, thus increasing our "need" for more medications over time.
Well, what about these drugs? How do they make it to the market for public consumption? The answer is the "gold standard" double blind, placebo controlled study. Without this approach, there can be no FDA approval and hence, no way to market a drug. So let's look at this approval process more closely.
It is imperative that a drug be tested for two main issues in clinical trials, the first being safety and the second, efficacy. Of course we want to know that if a drug proves to control the symptoms it is being designed to control, it can it do it safely, (e.g., with a minimum of "tolerable" side effects).
We then want to be able to establish that it is the drug that is working and not the "mind over matter" phenomenon. To ensure this, the drug is given to half of the test subjects and a placebo is given to the other half, who believe that they are actually being given the medication. Both groups are also instructed to refrain from taking other medications so that a "synergy" effect does not confuse the results. It would be harder to know if side effects and/or efficacy are being affected by these other meds so they are eliminated from the trials. The expectation is that there should be a great discrepancy between the medicated group and the control group (placebo) in the relief of symptoms being reported. This establishes the drug's efficacy.
All through the clinical trials, all side effects are being reported and catalogued. The side effects are rated as to severity and frequency. The FDA will then look at this "safety" profile and decide whether or not the drug is safe enough to be approved for marketing.
So let's assume that a drug has passed the stringent testing requirements and is now FDA approved. Soon, the drug will begin to be prescribed by an ever-increasing number of doctors who believe that new is better. Now, this is where the bigger, broader issues become revealed. Firstly, we mentioned that the medicated group in the study takes the test drug in isolation of other drugs. That is not what happens in real life. As soon as the drug hits the market, it is going to be mixed with lots of other prescription and over the counter medicines, as well as herbal and homeopathic medicines. We now begin to see drug interactions that will cause previously unreported side effects, some of them severe and some of them causing deaths. It is actually after the marketing of the drug that the public becomes the "test subjects" for drug interactions. The Department of Health will quickly respond by informing doctors of these "new" side effects, but it is too late for some people.
In addition, as the public use of the drug increases, there is now a much larger population of people using the drug and the statistics begin to change. What may have been reported to occur in 2 percent of the original test group may now be seen to be occurring in 6 percent of a broader population. Additionally, new side effects, not previously reported in clinical trials, become apparent. This is because there are so many variables in human physiology that results are often skewed by small populations of people who live in and around the same geographic location.
Lastly, clinical trials do not reveal the effects of long-term use. This, again, is something that turns the public into human guinea pigs. The recent Vioxx debacle bears this out.
So, in fact, this double blind placebo controlled study does not guarantee safety or efficacy because the test leaves far too many questions unanswered.
Where Do We Go From Here?
The focus on optimization of health not only depends on a working knowledge of genetics, but a deeper understanding of cause and effect through a working knowledge of epigenetics. Integrative medicine (the practice of conventional and holistic medicine) seeks to relate cause and effect in the treatment and prevention of illness by addressing the causative factors in the patient's diet, lifestyle and environment. When the medical profession embraces the duality of symptom care and the optimization of health by addressing epigenetic influences on gene expression, we will begin to see a decrease in morbidity and an overall improvement in quality of life.
Our goal is to educate the public on how to stay as healthy as possible. Correcting mechanisms of pathology requires a receptive public, one that is willing to alter diet and lifestyle for their own benefit. One can easily extrapolate that in order to have a clean, natural, chemical free diet, issues of environmental toxicity can no longer be tolerated. We would now have a society of proactive people whose goal is to protect their health, the health of their children and grandchildren as well as preserve nature so we can be a part of it rather than a detriment to it.
The future of our health depends on
knowledge and action. The future of our survival depends on
knowledge and action. We can no longer afford to be innocent
bystanders of our own health. The system is bursting at the
seams. It is costing us far too much money to administer
medical/surgical care. True, we have technology that can
facilitate early detection, but this technology by no means
confers prevention of disease on any of us. As such, we have
become masters of symptom control and disease management but
unfortunately, we are losing the battle to increasing
morbidity and suffering.
Are Vanishing Pensions Just Another
Case of Corporate Greed?
Ellen Schultz isn't buying it. An award-winning investigative reporter for The Wall Street Journal, Schultz has just published an important new book debunking the notion that the massive shift of risk from employer to employee is an inevitable consequence of an aging society, global competition or any other external factor. In fact, her book, Retirement Heist: How Companies Plunder and Profit from the Nest Eggs of American Workers (Portfolio/Penguin), argues that the near-disappearance of defined benefit pension plans didn't have to happen at all.
"It wasn't an accident," Schultz says in an interview. "It is the result of actions companies took starting in the 1990s to profit from their plans. Employers took perfectly healthy plans with a quarter trillion dollars in aggregate surpluses, and they siphoned out the money through a variety of means."
The result has been a severe decline in private sector defined benefit (DB) coverage.
The percentage of Fortune 1000 companies with at least one frozen DB plan (where the sponsor company retains the plan but stops future accruals for all or some workers) more than quadrupled between 2004 and 2010.
The fate of DB plans is a critical retirement policy issue. Like Social Security, DB pensions are key to retirement security because they do something private accounts cannot: provide lifetime income. DB pensions and Social Security are far more valuable than private accounts because they insure against longevity risk -- the risk that you'll run out of money before you run out of time.
Schultz details an array of accounting tricks, tax incentives and other ways that companies manipulate plan benefits to serve corporate purposes other than providing retirement security to their workers. These include everything from financing restructuring plans and mergers to goosing bonuses and performance-based management compensation and funding lavish pensions for top executives. Pension assets, Schultz argues, also have been cannibalized to fund retiree health benefits -- which in turn also have been shrunk.
"Companies were taking money out of plans throughout the 1990s, and people didn't initially notice," Schultz says. "The plans looked healthy because the stock market was rising and there were surpluses. Companies started to secretly cut benefits and used a variety of means to reduce the rates of growth in benefits."
Schultz decided to write the book when she noticed a disconnect between what the companies she covered were saying to shareholders and their communications with beneficiaries about plan changes.
"I was dumbfounded that these massively overfunded plans were cutting benefits. The changes would be described as improvement or modernization to employees and retirees, but then the companies would tell shareholders that the changes would save money," she commented.
"They were referring to an accounting effect -- if you reduce future benefits by $200 million, you get to record that as profit. You could look at these IOUs and say, 'If we cancel or reduce those IOUs, that is a profit.' That coincided with changes in executive compensation, which was moving toward more performance-based plans. Executives are compensated in stock options and awards that require them to hit profit targets. In some cases, they can hit their numbers by cutting benefits."
Mergers have also had a devastating impact on DB plans, Schultz charges.
"When companies go through asset sales, they transfer populations of current workers and retirees. On paper, the retirees are a sort of portfolio of liabilities, but also the assets to pay benefits. But the buyers don't really have a connection to these retirees, and they don't care about them. So they hire consultants to audit the plans, and find ways to reduce the payout obligations and squeeze the plans for profit."
Schultz has leveled some very serious
charges here that are backed up by impressive investigative
reporting. Her book is recommended reading for anyone who
cares about the future of retirement policy, and for anyone
struggling to understand what's happened to their
Republican Presidential Candidates:
Which One Is Best for Your Wallet?
The former CEO of Godfather's Pizza has suggested simplifying the tax code with his 9-9-9 plan: a 9% income tax, a 9% corporate tax, and a 9% federal sales tax.
On the income tax front, the idea's a winner for the average family, which would save about $2,620 in the shift from from a 14.3% effective tax rate -- about $7,070 in yearly taxes for the median household -- to a 9% rate, which would total about $4,450. But they'll get slammed by the sales tax. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average middle class family spends about 97% of its net income on food, housing, transportation, clothing and other necessities. Those expenditures would be taxable under Cain's plan, which would translate into a sales tax bill of about $4,316 for the average family. All told, the average family would face a minimum tax payment of $8,766 -- or roughly 17.7%.
And it could be much worse. Since the plan removes many of the deductions that middle class families depend on -- including tax breaks for mortgages and dependents -- there would be no escape from the full impact of Cain's tax levy.
In addition, tax law professor Edward D. Kleinbard estimates that the effective tax rate would move to 27% under Cain's plan because the proposal wouldn't allow corporations to deduct the cost of their employees' salaries. Employers would find other ways to get that money back -- likely by cutting wages or jobs. Kleinbard estimates that, under Cain's plan, the total tax cost to a middle-class family would be $13,350 -- almost twice the current level.
Upshot: Families will pay significantly higher taxes under the 9-9-9 plan.
The former Massachusetts governor's economic plan is pretty vague, and -- at least at first glance -- doesn't seem likely to make too much of an impact on the median family. In his voluminous Believe in America proposal, Romney promises to repeal Obama's health care reforms, end deficit spending, reform entitlements and balance the budget. As a boon to the middle class, he also promises to eliminate taxes on capital gains, dividends and interest for taxpayers who make less than $200,000 -- a move that would greatly benefit families with large amounts of disposable income.
His pledges on federal spending, however, could wind up hitting the middle class pretty hard. For example, he has promised to cut "nonsecurity discretionary spending" by 5%, or $20 billion. That broad heading includes everything from schools to water testing to road maintenance, so it isn't clear precisely which programs would get slashed, or how those cuts would affect the average family. At the same time, he intends to force China to float its currency, even threatening to assess tariffs on Chinese goods from his first day in office. While this move might be good for U.S. workers in the long term, it would immediately raise the prices of all Chinese-made products -- including those filling the shelves at Walmarts across the country.
Upshot: A Romney presidency could leave the average American family facing cuts to vital social services while trying to deal with much pricier consumer goods.
If you live near oil, coal or natural gas reserves, a Rick Perry presidency could be promising. The Texas governor often emphasizes the positive impact that oil jobs have had on his state. To revitalize the U.S. economy, he has proposed opening the nation's fossil fuel deposits to unhindered exploration and development, a process that, he argues, would create "1.2 million good American jobs." This would be paired with a massive scale-back in the Environmental Protection Agency, which currently regulates much of America's fuel exploration and development.
Beyond energy jobs, Perry's vision for the middle class gets a bit vague. As governor, he lowered Texas' corporate and property taxes, and initiated policies that made it harder to sue companies. These moves, which he credits with creating a "job climate consistently ranked the best in the nation," would likely see a nationwide implementation were he to win the White House. Combined with his proposal to scale back the EPA, this suggests a future in which suing the local power company, natural gas driller or other business would be extremely difficult. So while mining jobs would be more plentiful, so would polluted streams and unsafe work sites.
Upshot: A Perry presidency would be great for energy jobs, but the environment -- and your health -- could take a hit.
Some of Ron Paul's ideas would be a huge boost to the middle class. He has proposed eliminating income taxes, and has suggested that he wants to allow younger worker to opt out of payroll tax programs like Social Security and Medicare. In other words, most of the $7,070 that the median American family currently pays would stay in their pockets. He has also proposed abolishing gas taxes, which currently average 49¢ per gallon.
That extra money would come in handy, as Paul also plans to scale back or eliminate many government services that families currently rely upon. For example, families with school-age children might not appreciate his move to dissolve the Department of Education, which administers the student loan program and provides federal funding to schools. For that matter, homeowners struggling to fight foreclosure and people who rely on federally-funded housing might also miss the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which administers anti-foreclosure programs and funds low-income housing. Finally, those who chose to opt out of Social Security and Medicare might want to start saving their pennies, especially if they plan to grow old.
Upshot: A Ron Paul presidency would be great for your family's bottom line, as long as you don't rely on the federal government for anything.
A Night of Mistakes - Presentation Transcript
1. Underage drinking is the consumption of alcohol when you are under the legal drinking age of where you live.
This tends to happen at a party with mass amounts of peer pressure.
3.Consequences of Underage Drinking
School problems, such as higher absence and poor or failing grades.
4.% who had 5+ drinks in a row in previous two weeks *From 50,000 students in over 400 schools
6.% saying its Easy or fairly easy to get alcohol *From 50,000 students in over 400 schools
8.Statistics Relating to Consequences of Underage Drinking and Partying
Among the 33.9% of currently sexually active high school students nationwide, 23.3% had drunk alcohol or used drugs before their last sexual intercourse.
About one in ten girls who first has sex before age 15 describes it as involuntary.
Nineteen (19) million new STD infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24
In 2005, 23.4% of youths ages 12-17 reported that, in the past year, they had gotten into a serious fight at school or work.
Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the nation. (14.6 million past month users).
9.- Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is an organization committed to stop drunk driving. - Kids can participate in extracurricular activities, such as sports or organizations. - Parents must inform and instil the knowledge of effects to their children and not be naive to the fact that they will and do drink. - Increased fines and punishments will help to control underage drinking. Prevention/Alternatives to Underage Drinking
"Alcohol and drug use in early adolescence." The Daily . 18, May. 2004. Statistics Canada. 12 Oct 2008 <http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/040518/d040518b.htm>.
Goddard, Randi. "Drinkingfacts.ca." Drinkingfacts.ca . 2008. Canadian Public Health Association. 12 Oct 2008 <http://www.drinkingfacts.ca/english/index.asp>.
Johnston, Lloyd, and Patrick M. O'Malley, and Jerald G. Bachman, and John E. Schulenberg. "MONITORING THE FUTURE." NATIONAL RESULTS ON 06.5882April, 2006 34-35. 12 Oct 2008 <http://www.monitoringthefuture.org/pubs/monographs/overview2005.pdf>.
"Statistics." Welcome to SADD . February, 2007. SADD. 12 Oct 2008 <http://www.sadd.org/stats.htm#underage>.
"Quick Stats Underage Drinking." Department of Health and Human Resources . 06, August, 2008. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 12 Oct 2008 <http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/quickstats/underage_drinking.htm>.
deliciousoranges18 + Follow
This integrated media series is a
promotional website for A Night of Mistakes, a short movie
about the implications from a night of underage drinking. It
stars Chase Daniels, a star athlete from an underprivileged
family who attends a party and partakes in drinking, drug
use and even sexual relations. This leads to immediate
implications with his parents, his personal life and
education as he impregnates a girl from the party. After a
series of events that unfolds from that night of partying,
Chase looks back and realizes that it really was not worth
it. The website for the unreleased movie will help educate
children about underage drinking.
Changing Perceptions About Underage Drinking
1. Changing Perceptions about Underage Drinking
2. Underage Drinking in Arizona
50 percent of Arizona 8 th graders already have sampled alcohol 1
(1) Dr. Susan Tapert, University of California - San Diego
4.Our Objective Generate statewide awareness about the dangers of underage drinking and its prevalence in order to positively change behavior over time.
Its not a rite of passage; its illegal.
Adults ages 25-49 who influence kids ages 12-17
7. National Research Experts are united in their endorsement of parents as the key influence in childrens lives 1 Wealth of research that proves parents have enormous power in preventing substance abuse 2 Parents grossly underestimate prevalence of underage drinking 3 Parents underestimate their own power in preventing underage drinking 4 Parental Monitoring shown to be most effective at reducing youth risk factors 5 Adolescents perceiving less parental monitoring were more likely to have a history of alcohol use and greater alcohol consumption in the past 30 days 6 Parents
(1) NSPY, 2000, NICHDs Health Study, Oregon Parenting Institute 1998
8.Arizona Research Parents are more concerned about underage drinking than non-parents Parents do NOT condone supervised underage drinking Parents want education and assert they can better educate their children Parents raise concerns about being honest given their own experience Parents believe that teens will experiment and there is only so much they can do Parents Source: NAU Telephone Survey as cited in, Underage Drinking in Arizona Data Findings and Analysis, Pima Prevention Partnership, January 2007
Less concerned about youth drinking alcohol
10.You Have the Influence
Youth say parental disapproval is a key reason they choose not to drink before age 21.
11.You Have the Influence
Educate yourself about the harms and law
12.Educate yourself about the harms and law
The brain is still developing through the early 20s
13.Make yourself clear
This is a critical time in your growth and I dont want you drinking. Do you understand why?
14.Model responsible alcohol use
Dont get drunk in front of your kids
15.Know your childs world
Know their friends parents and how to contact them
Universitys "The Stupid Drink" Campaign Book -
WE BEGAN WITH OUR OWN STORIES, BUT FOUND AN EVEN GREATER ONE INITIAL STEPS Looking around, we saw binge drinking everywhere at Syracuse University. We observed people drinking heavily in bars, in the dorms and at theme parties. We even saw it in ourselves. We were de nitely not immune to the problem. Syracuse has been portrayed as a party school many times before, but in 2005, former Syracuse student Koren Zalickas wrote The New York Times Bestseller, Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood, rekindling the discussion about college drinking. We sat back and thought for a moment: if Syracuse students are binge drinking just as much as every other party school in America, we might actually have a chance to understand the problem and gure out a way to solve it. Trying to wrap our minds around the problem of binge drinking felt like we were tackling an overwhelmingly huge social problem, like the American nancial crisis. We looked around the world for other peoples solutions. Anything. Commercials, magazines, PSAs, books, public policy. Some things worked some things failed miserably. WE DID FIGURE OUT A FEW THINGS THAT WONT WORK AUTHORITARIAN They e ectively end the conversation before it begins. (e.g. MADD, Above the In uence) NOT TALKING TO UNDERAGE STUDENTS We cannot solve problematic drinking without talking to everyone it a ects. POKING FUN AT THE CONSEQUENCES Humor dilutes the seriousness of an issue that is already not taken seriously. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES 1.) Determine why a huge problem such as binge drinking hasnt been solved yet on college campuses 2.) Understand the motivations causing potentially life-threatening behaviors by di erent college students 3.) Find a de nition of dangerous over-consumption of alcohol that everyone can agree upon 4.) Uncover a way to talk to college students about a topic that they are currently shutting out OUR PRIMARY RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES 15 journals 1556 in-depth 75 expert documenting surveys reaching interviews * 15 ethnogrophies: Deprivation Study to expose the social sober and drunk all 50 states observational, video & photo pressures to drink weekends There are two stories being told; on the weekends the one authorities are telling, and the hidden one of college * Dr. Kate Carey, Psychologist & binge drinking expert; Dr. Jackie Orr, Sociologist; Emergency Medical Technicians; Director students. This is the latter. of Syracuse University Health Services; Director of Public Safety; Nancy Cantor, Syracuse University Chancellor & President; Director of Judicial A airs; Director of Residence Life; University Counseling Center Research and Planning // 4
STUDENTS DONT BELIEVE THAT BINGE DRINKING IS A PROBLEM THE OFFICIAL DEFINITION OF BINGE DRINKING Drinking alcohol that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to .08 or above, which corresponds to having ve or more drinks (male) or 4 or more drinks (female) in about two hours. COLLEGE STUDENTS AGREE THAT BINEG DRINKING IS NOT A PROBLEM Within our agency, we have presidents of several organizations, a commencement speaker, Deans List scholars, and community volunteers. But according to this o cial de nition we are all binge drinkers too. We started using the term binge drinking in our research, but we were quickly met with resistence. 92% of college students have rejected the term. It serves as the o cial de nition across most elds of research and policy. But not in the eyes of students. SO WE STARTING ASKING ABOUT DRINKING TOO MUCH After college students rejected the problem of binge drinking, we switched modes. We wanted to know what they had to say we asked students what they saw as problematic drinking. All of a sudden, there was a shift in the conversation they immediately started spewing answers, such as: get in a ght argue with crazy text death throw up alcohol crying falling blackout my girlfriend messages to poisoning down stairs ex-boyfriends lose track of send drunk how much I drink stomach pumped unwanted argue with at the hospital not having texts DUI hookups my girlfriend acting like a good time an idiot WHEN WE HEARD THESE RESPONSES, WE FELT STUCK FOR TWO REASONS: 1) Students could agree that binge drinking isnt the problem, but they couldnt agree on what the problem is. Almost everyone gave a di erent answer. Why werent we hearing one universal de nition of dangerous over-consumption of alcohol? I hate when people say my 2) We asked students to tell us their de nition of binge drinking, but they were only able to drinking gets out of hand when describe consequences that happen after drinking too much. They couldnt de ne what was I throw up or say something leading to these consequences. I regret. But binge drinking isnt WE WERE ALMOST THERE. the problem. In fact, its hilarious. BUT WE COULDNT QUITE PUT OUR FINGER THE PROBLEM. - Male, 18 5 Research and Planning
THE PROBLEM IS DRINKING TOO MUCH Every student mentioned consequences that happened when they drank too much. There was a hidden line between drinking and drinking too much. Between being in control and out of control. Between a fun night and a horrible, regrettable night. In fact, no matter how the two sides of the line are de ned, the problem is crossing the line. Once that line is crossed, anything can happen. Any of the dangerous consequences can occur. And thats when things quickly go wrong for so many college students. THE PROBLEM IS CROSSING THE LINE BETWEEN: DRINKING DRINKING TOO MUCH HAPPY FACE SAD FACE NO DRAMA DRAMA IN CONTROL OUT OF CONTROL FUN SLOPPY CONFIDENT TOO CONFIDENT DANGEROUS OVER CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL=CROSSING THE LINE BETWEEN DRINKING AND DRINKING TOO MUCH There are de?nitely nights when Ive had too much to drink. My friends have to tell me what I did because I dont remember. - Female, 20 Research and Planning // 6
PEOPLE DRINK TOO MUCH ITS COLLEGE WE WANTED TO FIND OUT WHY: As we spoke to more and more students, it became clear that people drink for di erent reasons. Some people drink to t in, while others drink to meet new people and still others drink just to have fun. Whatever the reason, college students continue to drink. And drink too much. There are cultural, social and personal insights into why college students continue to drink too much. PERSONAL, SOCIAL & CULTURAL MISPERCEPTIONS CAUSE PEOPLE TO DRINK TOO MUCH CULTURAL SOCIAL CULTURALLY, DRINKING IS FUN PEER PRESSURE AND THINKING AND SIMPLY PART OF COLLEGE. PERSONAL OTHER PEOPLE DRINK MORE THAN THEY ACTUALLY DO ENCOURAGE DRINKING. 63% agree that heavy drinking is EXPERIENCING NEGATIVE expected of college students CONSEQUENCES ARE STILL NOT The rst time I went over my limit, it was - Primary survey A DETERRENT TO DRINKING. because of somebody else. I felt like I had to keep drinking. Other people always 64% of students agree that Last Saturday, I woke up with a hangover in uence me to drink more. college is a time to behave in a way and threw up all day. I started feeling - Male, 18 unacceptable outside of college. better around dinner, so I went to my - Primary survey friends party that night. I made a drink and then my friends - Female, 19 kept pouring more alcohol into my drink College equals drinking and and I didnt want it! But I nished it and drinking equals college. This is what you The next week comes along and you wake made another. do for four years, then you grow up. up feeling ne the memory of sick its - Female, 20 - Male, 18 just in the past. I dont really feel the pain I was feeling then, in which case I just start 85% of binge drinkers think that most or Look we know that in college we drinking again. all of their friends binge drink. probably drink too much. But thats the - Male, 20 - Primary survey thing, its college...in comparison to other college students we are normal drinkers. 69% of students agree that knowing the I think the reason everyone puts up - Female, 20 negative e ects of binge drinking doesnt pictures on Facebook is because a ect whether they choose to binge drink. everyone else does. They want to know - Primary survey they party the hardest and/or craziest. - Female, 18 Drinking in college is fun we wouldnt do it if it wasnt. - Male, 19 7 Research and Planning
I DRINK, YOU DRINK, WE ALL DRINK WE NOTICED DIFFERENCES IN ATTITUDE AND BEHAVIOR BETWEEN UNDERCLASSMEN AND UPPERCLASSMEN I have felt the need to reevaluate my drinking behavior. When I rst started drinking, Younger students are a Freshmen: 31% agree we would meet up in my dorm sub-group of people who are The initial transition to a Seniors: 61% agree and chug a bunch of alcohol. But residential college represents more prone to binge drinking. (primary survey) now, its going to a bar, and being Harvard University study, the period of greatest risk for more responsible about it. Im still I have experienced heavy drinking, with 80% of I know my (Weitzman et al., 2003) drinking limit. drinking at that bar, but Im not negative consequences all students using alcohol, and going past my limit. due to drinking too much. 44% participating in binge Freshmen: 54% agree - Male, 20 drinking. (SESSA, 2005) Seniors: 93% agree Freshmen: 63% agree (primary survey) Seniors: 87% agree (primary survey) DEMOGRAPHIC DIFFERENCES There are di erent experience levels when it comes to drinking in college. We need to speak to males and females who are 17 22 years-old enrolled full-time in 2- or 4-year colleges. Although white students tend to experience THE BAD NEWS: Students of every age pass their limit. more negative consequences, race and ethnicity generally have little a ect on attitudes and behavior with regard to drinking. Gender is not a di erentiator of awareness. Age is the most important di erence between targets generally, younger students do no understand what too much means compared to older students. THE GOOD NEWS They learn through experience. NAIVE DRINKERS REGULAR DRINKERS EXPERIENCED DRINKERS THE CHALLENGE: Make them learn faster. FRESHMEN / SOPHOMORES SOPHOMORES / JUNIORS JUNIORS / SENIORS The excitement and anticipation Through trial and error, students have They know what works for them and of college makes young students experienced negative consequences they stick to it. This experienced drinker eager to dive into the college party of drinking but are still testing their has learned over time how to avoid scene. Alcohol acts as a perfect social limits. They have an established routine morning headaches and frequent lubricant to ease the process of making and set of friends, and therefore feel blackouts. Unlimited freedom in o - new friends in this new environment. less pressure to prove themselves with campus housing allows them to drink The newfound freedom of college alcohol. These students are slowly leisurely and casually with a close group makes heavy drinking acceptable. learning how to pace themselves, of friends. Although they still slip up on but still dont want to miss out on the occasion, they know they can drink and DRINKING ATTITUDE: The Naive Drinker college experience. have fun without going overboard. Now that Im a senior, drinks to get drunk as fast as possible. DRINKING ATTITUDE: The Regular Drinker DRINKING ATTITUDE: The Experienced Ive realized I can drink drinks a lot to have a great time with Drinker values his/her time with friends without ending the night close friends. and drinks to enjoy it more. with my head in the toilet. - Female, 22 Research and Planning // 8
RIGHT NOW, THERES AN ISSUE WITH MESSAGING CURRENT MESSAGES TALK TO ONE EXTREME OR THE OTHER Students hear two messages. Drink! and Dont drink! They sort out messages about alcohol using these two extremes messages either support the idea of drinking in college, or try to persuade against it. College is placed on a pedestal long before freshman year drinking is seen as right of passage, and a very acceptable part of college. Pop culture, such as Animal House, Old School and MTV Spring Break paint a very vivid picture of the college environment and fuel the stereotype. Why wouldnt people be excited for college? Right now, college freshmen are only able to make this mental distinction: NOT DRINKING DRINKING TO BE EFFECTIVE, MESSAGES MUST RECOGNIZE REALITY We need to get students thinking about drinking and drinking too much. And faster. They learn through trial and error, so it takes two to three years to develop an understanding of what it actually means to drink too much. What it feels like, looks like, smells like and sounds like. We cannot stand on the sidelines and simply accept that it takes years to understand this distinction. We realized that communicating this distinction would get students to progress to Experienced Drinkers in a quicker and safer way. We need to help students make this further distinction. When I see a poster telling DRINKING me that I shouldnt be DRINKING TOO MUCH drinking in college, I just laugh. Obviously, anyone normal is going to drink in college. - Male, 18 9 Research and Planning
OUR STRATEGY SPRINGS FROM A SIMPLE TRUTH SIMPLE TRUTH: TO YOURSELF: Every college student becomes aware TO YOURSELF: (THE NEXT DAY) of what it means to drink too much. TO A YOUNGER (THAT NIGHT) Well, that SIBLING: Do I look was stupid. OBJECTIVE: Dont be stupid. that stupid? Have students talk about the line between drinking and drinking too much in a way ABOUT OTHERS: TO A FRIEND: that is meaningful to them. She looks so stupid! Youre acting stupid. STRATEGY: Identify and stigmatize the one drink that separates enjoyable drinking and the negative consequences that occur from drinking too STRATEGY much. This is The Stupid Drink. The Stupid Drink THE STUPID DRINK DEFINED: The stupid drink is the one drink between drinking and drinking too much, in control and out of control, good times and regrets, great memories and no memories. For some its a feeling, for some its a number, for some its a type of alcohol. WE TESTED THE IDEA WITH COLLEGE STUDENTS Before we moved forward, we wanted to see how this resonated with college students. If the idea didnt click immediately, it would never work. But it did click. And beautifully. It takes the blame o me or my Ive never thought about a The Stupid Drink. Its so di erent! Its friends. Its that one drinks fault. speci c drink like that. But it a message about drinking that I can Thats so true! -Female, 21 totally makes sense! - Male, 18 actually use. - Female, 19 Theres always that one drink that one shot that I wish I didnt have. It always makes The Stupid Drink is grounded in actual experience. Everyone gets it its universal. things go downhill. Always. - Male, 21 Research and Planni
THE STUPID DRINK WILL MAKE MEANINGFUL CHANGES COMMUNICATION OBJECTIVES LOOKING FORWARD, WE WILL MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE We will be including a long-term tracking Were not forcing a new message upon college students were giving them a way to talk about a message they study for the campaign in order to hear everyday. In themselves, in their friends, and in pop culture. Thats more than any other piece of communication standardize metrics and measure the has done so far. By speeding up the time it takes for students to learn what too much means, students have a way to following objectives: experience drinking in a safe way. The occurrence of every negative consequence will decrease. REDUCE DANGEROUS BEHAVIOR TALKING TO UNDERAGE DRINKERS IS CRITICAL Reduce the percentage of students who Before we even started our research, we noticed that there was a huge segment of people being overlooked: those report having experienced negative college students who are 18- to 20-years-old. Once theyve decided that they are going to drink in college, any message consequences by 20% in year one; that alludes to not drinking will not resonate with them. Theyve been told that such behavior is illegal, so they shut measured nationally, campus-wide, out those messages. They stop listening. and individually. But we need to talk to these people. In doing so, we are not condoning or vilifying underage drinking. It is a fact of life that college students who are underage participate in drinking behaviors. We are communicating to the behavior of INCREASE AWARENESS OF drinking, rather than a group of people who are drinking. There is a very clear distinction between these two ideas DRINKING TOO MUCH the former is a necessary step. We need to focus on solving the problem in a real way. Not just in a politically correct way. Increase the percentage of students who are able to recognize their line to 25% OUR POSITIONING in year one, 50% in year two, and 75% in The Stupid Drink is something very small that will make a huge di erence. We need to develop a communication year three. campaign that brings this idea to college students across the country. Looking forward, this three-year campaign will get people talking about what it truly means to pass the line from drinking to drinking too much in order to reduce GET STUDENTS TALKING premature deaths, hospital visits and a long list of other unnecessary consequences that occur on college campuses. ABOUT THE STUPID DRINK Introduce The Stupid Drink as the way for peers to discuss problematic drinking and what their line is, and have 40% awareness of The Stupid Drink among all college students in year one. Looking back, when I was a freshman, I wish I wouldve known how to drink. - Male, 22 1 Research and Planning 1
CREATIVE BRIEF WHY ARE WE COMMUNICATING? Students will admit that drinking in college can be a problem, but cannot agree on what that problem is. When asked what drinking too much means, students listed a laundry list of negative consequences. But the problem is the passing of that line, that point, or that drink where drinking becomes drinking too much. Its The Stupid Drink. Students either dont know it exists or simply dont have a way to identify it. This must change. Students need to know about this thing called The Stupid Drink: the single drink that accelerates consumption, that puts them over the line, that takes them from drinking to drinking too much. WHAT DO WE WANT THE COMMUNICATION TO DO? Create broad awareness and understanding of The Stupid Drink among college students. Help them recognize and avoid it in order to reduce the long list of negative consequences of drinking too much. WHO IS OUR AUDIENCE? NAIVE DRINKERS The Naive Drinker drinks to get drunk as fast as possible. REGULAR DRINKERS The Regular Drinker drinks a lot to have a great time with close friends. EXPERIENCED DRINKERS The Experienced Drinker values his/her time with friends and drinks to enjoy it more. WHAT DO THEY CURRENTLY THINK? Theres drinking and not drinking. College equals drinking and drinking equals college. This is what you do for four years, and then you grow up. WHAT WOULD WE LIKE THEM TO THINK? Drinking is part of college. Everyone has his/her own limit. Its nding that limit before you blackout or get sick thats important. WHAT IS THE BIG IDEA? The Stupid Drink is the one drink that takes you from drinking to drinking too much. HOW DO WE MAKE IT BELIEVABLE? The Stupid Drink allows students to identify and avoid that point where things take a turn for the worse. WHAT TONE SHOULD BE USED? There should be an informal and conversational tone not authoritarian or confrontational. Research and Planning // 12
OVERVIEW We designed the concept of The Stupid Drink to be an informal way of talking about a very serious issue. It is purposefully designed to ease discussion between students and their peers, parents, and others around them who would normally shy away from such awkward confrontations about drinking culture. To propel the concept of The Stupid Drink into mainstream culture, we needed a unique voice. This voice would have to de ne and educate about The Stupid Drink, without falling prey to the creative land mines we laid down in our strategy. This voice had to be informal enough to connect with college students, yet carry enough weight to have some authority in talking to them about The Stupid Drink. We present The Drinking Institute. It is a faux scienti c research center, populated by college seniors and recent grads. As experienced drinkers, who seem to have been born knowing their drinking limit, they have taken it upon themselves to research why people act so stupid when they drink. They are especially mysti ed and intrigued by freshmen behavior. After devoting years of research to the subject, they have nally identi ed The Stupid Drink as the cause of gross over- consumption of alcohol on college campuses. The Drinking Institute is the voice of our campaign. It avoids the problems inherent in authoritative voices by placing the expertise in the hands of peers. The concept of a scienti c institute devoted solely to the study and experimentation of alcohol on other people is ludicrous enough to get students attention, yet done with a straight face so as to preserve the seriousness of dangerous drinking behavior. College students de ne their drinking experience socially. So, the Institute must speak to them in the same way, describing the symptoms of approaching their limits in social terms, rather than the qualitative, numerical de nitions that have consistently failed to have an impact in the past. These symptoms of The Stupid Drink, or Symptoms of Stupid for short, are our way of phrasing the social indicators of a bad night in the same informal, but serious way. Creative // 14
NON-TRADITIONAL WEB SITE Visitors will be invited to interactively explore the halls of The Institute. TV spots and viral videos will be showcased. Visitors will be able to perform experiments on test subjects to learn about the e ects of The Stupid Drink. Symptoms of Stupid party games can be downloaded in print-form for free. The Web site will also serve as the central hub for the upcoming online promotional event. ONLINE PIX MESSAGING APPLICATION On the Web site, students can request to have picture message Symptoms of Stupid sent to their cell phones. If a friend has been displaying symptoms, students can Pix Message their friend with the corresponding photo. TWITTER Students can follow updates from The Drinking Institutes sta . The Twitter pro le will continually update company news and faux experimental breakthroughs to engage the online college community. 15 Creative
NON-TRADITIONAL FACEBOOK APPLICATION Adding the Symptoms of Stupid Application on Facebook will give users the option to tag their friends in photos as having the various symptoms. It is a more entertaining way of pointing out a friends Stupid Drink. Select symptoms like Handsy Friend will be available to discourage glorifying being past their limit. VIRAL VIDEO Education of The Stupid Drink and The Drinking Institute will get an entertaining promotion by none other than Bill Nye the Science Guy. Bill Nye serves as the perfect addition to the voice of The Drinking Institute. The current college demographic grew up on his brand of teaching science in weird and fascinating ways, allowing us to educate students on the e ects and chemistry of alcohol without feeling forced or preachy. A few months after the viral video launches, an online contest will be held and the winner will be featured as Bill Nyes assistant in the next viral video. Creative // 16
NON-TRADITIONAL BAR STAMPS Monotone versions of The Stupid Drink and The Drinking Institute logo will be turned into bar stamps to keep students constantly aware of their limits throughout the night and the next morning. BAR/CAMPUS AMBIENT Objects around campus and in bars will call out ambient Symptoms of Stupid. Bar and dorm mirrors will be blurred to simulate blurred vision. Bar tabs with The Stupid Drink ordered will be left on tables. Sidewalk clings will call attention to normal objects in the environment that become hazards when a person has had too much to drink, such as low-hanging branches, curbs, and staircases. COASTERS Bar coasters with 50 di erent colorful Stupid Drink de nitions ensures that students will nd a de nition that resonates with them. Also, students can collect and save their favorite coasters. THE DR THE DR THE DR INK INK INK THE THE THE IN G IN G IN G STU ID STU ID STU ID IN IN IN ST ST ST P P P IT IT IT P P P DRINK UTE UTE UTE DRINK DRINK THE LINE BETWEEN THE DRINK BETWEEN THE QUICKEST WAY OM OM OM DRINKING AND E.C E.C E.C "I'M GOOD, I'M GOOD" FROM COOL TO FOOL DRINKING TOO MUCH UT UT UT AND "MY BAD" TI T TI T TI T INS G INS G INS G DRINKIN DRINKIN DRINKIN 17 Creative
NON-TRADITIONAL DECKS OF CARDS Drinking Institute Poker Cards will be distributed to Resident Assistants to place in student lounges. The cards will also be distributed to bar owners to place on tables. The cards serve as an activity to bring students together. BEWARE OF THE J KIOSK INSERT/ CARDBOARD STANDUPS O STUPID K DRINK E Located in student centers in colleges across the R country, the kiosk inserts will mimic the coasters and billboards to reinforce the de nition of The Stupid Drink and drive tra c to the Web site. Cardboard cut-outs of Institute scientists will urge students to R E identify their Stupid Drink. K O J DRINKING INSTITUTE.COM BATHROOM STICKERS SYMPTOMS OF STU ID P P Small banners identifying The Symptoms of Stupid POSTERS PHANTOM CONFIDENCE The Drinking Institute will o er $3 promotional will be stuck to bathroom stall doors to give students REGRETTABLE TEXTING posters at early semester poster sales. Modestly- something informative and humorous to read. LOSS OF POSSESSIONS DISTORTED PERCEPTION OF HOTNESS priced to appear as a great deal, Freshmen eager INAPPROPRIATE EMOTIONAL RESPONSES to pimp out their new dorm rooms will be more SLURRED SPEECH likely to have a favorable opinion of The Institute TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE IDEAS than they would if the poster was free and forced. EXCESSIVE URINATION VERBALLY ABUSING A STRANGER The pro ts of the poster sale will go towards each SYMPTOMS OF STU ID NODDING OFF WHILE STANDING university for funding various initiatives, P such as judicial a airs or substance abuse PHANTOM CONFIDENCE REGRETTABLE TEXTING LOSS OF POSSESSIONS DRINK MISSING YOUR MOUTH DISTORTED PERCEPTION OF HOTNESS INAPPROPRIATE EMOTIONAL RESPONSES SLURRED SPEECH DANCING LIKE "PRO" counseling programs. TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE IDEAS EXCESSIVE URINATION VERBALLY ABUSING A STRANGER DULLED THOUGHT PROCESS NODDING OFF WHILE STANDING DRINK MISSING YOUR MOUTH PERSONAL SPACE INVASION DANCING LIKE "PRO" DULLED THOUGHT PROCESS PERSONAL SPACE INVASION IF YOU OR YOUR FRIENDS EXHIBITS MULTIPLE SYMPTOMS, IF YOU OR YOUR FRIENDS EXHIBITS MULTIPLE SYMPTOMS, YOU ARE DANGEROUSLY APPROACHING YOUR STUPID DRINK. YOU ARE DANGEROUSLY APPROACHING YOUR STUPID DRINK. THIS HAS BEEN AN OFFICIAL MESSAGE FROM THE DRINKING INSTITUTE . COM THIS HAS BEEN AN OFFICIAL MESSAGE FROM THE DRINKING INSTITUTE . COM Creative Executions // 18
DIRECT The Drinking Institute 123 Hop Avenue, 5th Floor Death Valley, CA 92328 POSTCARDS Dear Student, A month before students go to college, they will receive an urgent postcard from the Institute warning of their new We write to inform you of a groundbreaking discovery. For years, our mission at The Drinking In replication trials, identification of this drink and the decision not to consume it have positively influenced discovery of The Stupid Drink. The postcards will serve as an introduction to The Stupid Drink and a teaser for Institute has been to pinpoint the reason that college students suffer from periods of uncontrolled alcohol the lives of study participants, their social lives and grade point averages. consumption. After extensive testing and research, The Drinking Institute. we are issuing the following warning: For questions or concerns pertaining to THE STUPID DRINK, please visit us online at DrinkingInstitute.com. There is a drink that exists between drinking and drinking too much. It is called THE STUPID DRINK. THE This single drink is the last one that can be refused DRINKING the one that leads to the ones that you later regret. INSTITUTE IT SHOULD BE AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS. .COM ID OF HUTS U P P PROMOTIONS OMS SYMPTRTY SCAVENGER NT LOSS OF PA L VERBA A AGE BEVER OF OL BEER ABUSE CONTR CALLY ES STRANGER CHRONI NCE GOGGL LY LA EVENT MARKETING ON QUADS REAL A OFF-BA Y E GLASS BAD ID BAD EYES DRUNK IDEA Two Institute scientists will run a booth on quads, challenging students to sink a shot ED "HAND SY" D TEXTS SLURR FRIEN OM PHANT CE on a Beer Pong table with 10 cups. Participants can take 30-seconds out of their walk to SPEECH DRUNK LS IDEN CONF SQUEA classes in a shoot-til-you-miss challenge. Nine of the cups will correspond to di erent LOST KEY LE FRIEND - OVERNESS LI UNCONT ROLL- ARTICHING ABLE promotional prizes, such as t-shirts, party games, personalize-able Solo cups, and OF CL OT PRIATE NODDIN G EMO DRUNK GIGGLIN G INAPPR NAL OFF more. But hit The Stupid Drink in the middle and its game over. A banner, similar to the DRUNK EMOTIO SE O RESPON OOT BAREF IC KLEPT S*** BL IN PU stadium billboards, will accompany the booth to warn those who dont have the time to D E IVE XCESS N EATIN GRIN G SAUCE G URINATIO NG participate in The Stupid Drink challenge. DANCI ALONE SQUIN T IN E NIGH T : OF TH DRUNK STUPID OF MENT EXPERI STITUTE FICIAL IN AN OF E DRINKING TH M TE . CO PARTY ACTIVITIES DRINK ING IN STITU BINGO games will be given out to participants in the events on campus quads, which friends can play at parties or in bars to spot the Symptoms of Stupid. This serves to further identify The Stupid Drink, as well as call out party-goers who dont know their limit. 19 Creative
TRADITIONAL BILLBOARD The Drinking Institute understands that students THE ignore textbook or technical de nitions when it comes to PSAs. Billboards in college stadiums STU ID DRINK P P will feature colorful, engaging de nitions of The Stupid Drink. Twice during the season, students will be challenged to text their own Stupid Drink de nitions. The best will become the next THE PASSPORT TO IDIOCY billboard in the series, and those who participate DRINKING INSTITUTE . COM will receive a one-time follow-up text message from The Institute, thanking them for playing and encouraging them to visit the Web site. CAMPUS NEWSPAPERS The Institute will continue to publish its ndings in half-page adverts in college newspapers, de ning The Stupid Drink and urging students to avoid it in mock-press-release fashion. Creative // 20
TRADITIONAL CABLE Our lead scientist brings viewers on an introductory tour of The Institute and talks about their discovery of The Stupid Drink. (Double doors open. Our Head Scientist ...Extreme inebriation. (Various shots of one tipsy test subject ...Has identi ed the problem. begins walking down a long hallway.) hitting a beer dispenser button.) (Through a one-way window, a quick cut (Fist slams button. It ashes green and Welcome to the Drinking Institute of a visibly drunk girl attempting to irt Meticulous research... dispenses a drink in his cup.) with a lab technician, who is trying to (A lab technician with a hand truck of take notes.) SFX: Ding! various alcoholic beverages passes in SFX: Cup Filling. front of the camera.) Here, our Senior sta has been experimenting for years on the cause of... We call it... ...The Stupid Drink. Its the drink between drinking... ...And drinking too much. (Close-up of the Head Scientist.) (One visibly wobbly test SFX: Hand presses button. (Another window shows test (The Head Scientist subject hits the button for subjects giving cheers and passes another window Help us end this Epidemic another beer, and The Stupid (Box buzzes and ashes enjoying themselves.) with a test subject of Stupidity. Avoid your Drink light ashes.) Stupid.) throwing up in a toilet.) Stupid Drink. ...Stupid... (Final shot of The Drinking Institute logo.) 21 Creative
PR & PUBLICITY COLLEGE DRINKING SOLUTIONS WEB SITE College administrators and parents are one-step removed from students, and provide an essential support structure. Currently, there is no way for college administrators and parents to come together and share information on promoting responsible drinking. In order to encourage dialogue on responsible drinking, www.collegedrinkingsolutions.com will be established. The site will have two portions, one for college administrators and one for parents. The Stupid Drink messaging will be built into the site to promote discussion about the campaign and encourage universities and parents to share their personal campaign results. This will also help the Century Council in its research e orts. Administrators and parents will be encouraged to participate in the Web site via an electronic press release. For college administrators: Administrators can create a searchable pro le for their university that discusses their individual problem, current solutions and research. Graph-building capabilities will allow quanti able information to be displayed easily. This will also allow for trends to be tracked from school to school. University administrators can search how other schools are approaching the problem, as well as communicate with each other via a message board and blog. Also, a monthly e-mail will be sent to all participants with updates on how other schools are approaching the problem. For parents: This section of the Web site will have information on what to expect while your child is in college. There will also be information on how to be helpful to your children and talk to them before/when problems arise. Parents can also click to the administrators portion of the Web site to see how individual colleges are tackling the problem. PRESS RELEASES A campaign kick-o press release will be sent to PR Newswire, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Center for Disease Control, The O ce of the First Lady, and congressional leaders who are involved in the issue of alcohol abuse. Also, a customizable press release will be created for each participating school. These press releases will be sent to local publications to create community buzz about and support for the campaign. URBAN DICTIONARY & WIKIPEDIA ENTRIES In order to promote usage of The Stupid Drink in everyday language, an entry in urbandictionary.com will be created. This is a Web site of underground language and is entirely user-generated. A Wikipedia article will be created for the same purpose. Creative // 22
OVERVIEW College students love their cell phones. And their laptops. And socializing, both online and o . So any campaign that will resonate with them will be integrated across all of these elements. We developed a $10 million media plan that heavily emphasizes e-Branding and non-traditional elements that reach students when they are with their friends: bars, dorms, the student center and on the quad. The campaign has a total of 16 nontraditional placements. The Stupid Drink campaign will be spread across 967 campuses, which comprise 7.5 million of the 10.2 million U.S. col- lege students. The campaign will achieve a maximum reach of 70% and a frequency of three on the target campuses. The campaign will be strengthened through local partnerships with university and community members. These partnerships help strengthen the environment that students call home for four years. Media Plan // 24
MEDIA STRATEGY NON TRADITIONAL TRADITIONAL DORM BATHROOM STICKERS BAR BATHROOM MIRRORS CAMPUS NEWSPAPERS Unique blend of reach and frequency to deliver Reach students when theyre out drinking 77% of college students read their campus an isolated message newspaper at least once a month Allows for a moment of re ection VIRAL VIDEOS Campus-based communication Provides peer-based recommendation POSTER FOR SALE STADIUM BILLBOARD Purchasing posters allows students to own WEB SITE & MOBILE SITE Encourages ownership of message the message and hang it on their walls year round College students spend a daily average of 3-5 hours online CABLE CARDBOARD STAND-UP 70% of college students have smart phones; College students spend an average Located in high-tra c student center mobile version of site allows for better navigation of 10.6 hours a week watching TV Out-of the ordinary; will grab attention Late-fringe spots will be placed on: FACEBOOK APPLICATION KIOSK INSERT 80 % of college students use Facebook Channel Index Shows Information-seeking medium Adds a social media element to a MTV 316 The Hills, Fantasy Factory Not typical advertising medium; typically peer-based campaign VH1 242 Americas Next Top Model, Fabulous Life of... used for campus events Adult Swim 360 Family Guy, Aqua Teen Hunger Force ONLINE PICTURE Comedy Central 180 Daily Show, South Park SIDEWALK CLING MESSAGING APPLICATION ESPN 123 SportsCenter, Pardon the Interruption College campuses have high foot tra c 96% of college students have cell phones Communicates to students while walking Base: 18-24 year-old full-time college students Drives web-based tra c and peer-to-peer to class or nightly activities viral engagement DIRECT DECKS OF CARDS TWITTER Provides a talking point for students while Growing social networking tool POSTCARDS hanging out Reach students when eagerly awaiting arrival on campus Opt-in feature invites messaging BAR STAMPS COASTERS Serves as a reminder while out drinking and Reach students when theyre already drinking the following morning by communicating via part of the bar environment Gains credibility because distributed by bars SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION Over 90% of Web sites are launched through search Directs tra c to Web site 25 Media Plan
MAXIMIZING REACH:THE TWO TIERS The use of a two-tier system allows the $10 million budget to be stretched across as many universities as possible. The two-tier system also ensures that the universities with the biggest drinking problem receive the most emphasis. TIER 1 CREATIVE Universities that participate in this tier will receive all creative executions. TIER 2 PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS This tier is comprised of 20 universities* CREATIVE that are most at-risk for dangerous Universities that participate in this tier drinking. The list was compiled based on will receive everything in Tier 1 except the most frequently listed schools across for the campus newspaper ads, stadium four rankings: billboard/jumbotron, cable spots and quad event. The Princeton Reviews Party Schools The Princeton Reviews Lots of Hard Liquor The Princeton Reviews Lots of Beer PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS Playboys Party Schools There are 967 universities in this tier. The universities were selected from three groups, minus any overlap from Tier 1: TOTAL ENROLLMENT: 500,000 Universities involved in the Amethyst Initiative, a petition signed by university presidents to begin a discussion about drinking in college The Princeton Reviews Best 368 colleges The 20 biggest party schools from Tier 1 were heavily skewed across the following three factors: very large (10000+ students), East Central geography and Southeast * Arizona State University, DePauw University, Florida State geography. We used U.S. News to compile University, Indiana University Bloomington, Iowa State, Ohio a list of schools that meet these criteria. University, Penn State, Randolph Macon College, Tulane University, University of Colorado Boulder, University of California Santa Barbara, University of Georgia, University of New Hampshire, TOTAL ENROLLMENT: University of Florida, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 7,000,00 University of Mississippi, University of Tennessee, University of Texas Austin, West Virginia University, University of Wisconsin Madison Media Plan // 26
SCHEDULING & PHASING SCHEDULING Although the campaign will run year-round, the majority of the campaign will coincide with the academic year of August to May. It is easier to reach students while they are on campus The Gordie Foundation (a foundation dedicated to a student who died of alcohol poisoning), keeps a list of alcohol-related deaths of those under age 25. According to a statistical analysis of this list, alcohol-related deaths are approximately 68% lower in the summer months than they are during the academic year. There will be extra emphasis in August and September, because this is the most dangerous drinking period. Also, for freshmen, this is when many college drinking habits are formed. PHASING Certain media placements have important timing elements to make their message most e ective: Postcards: sent to students in August before they arrive on campus to spark interest in the campaign. Posters: sold in August & September when students look to decorate their bland rooms Sidewalk clings: implemented in warmer months of August, September, April and May so that the placements arent covered by snow Viral video: released in October after The Stupid Drink concept has been introduced and de ned Decks of cards: placed in dorm lounges from November-February to occupy students during the colder months Viral video contest: begins in January after students have had an opportunity to view the original viral video Research booklets: sent in July to discuss campaign results from prior year Bar elements (coasters, stamps, mirrors, decks of cards): phased together to maximize frequency. The ?rst three weeks of the semesters are when we see the most problems. Students are either just starting college or seeing their friends after a long time. -Of?cer from Syracuse Universitys Department of Public Safety Media Plan // 28
PARTNERSHIPS & EXPANDING THE BUDGET When we went to nd other organizations with which to partner in order to strengthen The Stupid Drink campaign, we realized that our approach to the problem was di erent from other messages out there. While other organizations focus on not drinking, we focus on the distinction between drinking and drinking too much. We feared that partnering with another anti-drinking organization would only serve to dilute our message. Instead of partnering with other organizations from the beginning, we believe that it is best to spend a year proving that our messaging works with the goal that potential partners will realize the e ectiveness of the message behind the stupid drink and will choose to join the campaign in the future. The most important and e ective partners for a campaign like this come from the local level. Reducing negative consequences can only be achieved if it is supported by a strong sense of community. The best way that partners can help extend the budget is by providing free media placements. This allows the $10 million to be stretched across as many universities as possible. The 967 targeted universities are the most important partners in this campaign. We spoke to representatives from several universities, and all of them con rmed that they would not charge for media placements for a campaign such as The Stupid Drink. Local bar associations are also important partners because they are where many students socialize and consume alcohol. These bar associations can also assist by providing free media placements. In order to partner with an organization like The Century Council, I wouldnt need to see speci?c data, but I would need to see how they are approaching the problem. Right now, there is no middle ground about reasonable drinking, and the difference between drinking and drinking too much. - Nancy Cantor, Chancellor & President Syracuse University 29 Media Plan
CAMPAIGN EVALUATION TO REITERATE,
OUR CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES: 1) Reduce the percentage of
students who report having experienced negative consequences
by 20% in year one, measured nationally, campus-wide and
individually 2) Increase the percentage of students who are
able to recognize their line to 25% in year one, 50% in year
two and 75% in year three 3) Introduce The Stupid Drink as
the way for peers to discuss problematic drinking and what
their line is, and have 40% awareness of The Stupid Drink
among all college students in year one. WE CONDUCTED COPY
TESTS TO INITIALLY EVALUATE THE CAMPAIGN After viewing our
creative campaign, 95% of college students agreed that The
Stupid Drink is a clear concept 89% of college students
agreed that they were likely to think about The Stupid Drink
while they are out drinking The Stupid Drink message is
simple, clear and memorable. It is an idea that will be used
and remembered by college students while they are drinking.
These results are unprecedented and revolutionary amongst
anti-binge drinking messages. TRACKING STUDY To track the
progress of our campaign and to standardize the metrics used
in evaluating our initial objectives, we will be including
market research in the campaign. As part of this research,
there will be a semi-annual survey sent to students and
administrators at all participating schools across the
country. These ndings will be compiled, published and
distributed to participating schools, news organizations and
government organizations. The ndings will also be available
on the College Drinking Solutions Web site. 31