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First Lady Deal, August Is Georgia's Alcohol Awareness Month


Atlanta, GA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/27/2013 -- Governor Nathan Deal in accordance with First Lady Sandra Deal and the Georgia’s Children Cabinet has identified August as Alcohol Awareness month. This month is an opportunity to raise awareness of alcohol abuse and encourage people to make healthy choices to protect the children of Georgia. The results of the 2011-2012 Georgia Student Health Survey revealed that in 6th grade, 3.6% of students reported use of alcohol within 30 days. This number increases to 29% by the time students reach 12th grade. Both of these numbers are too high—thus highlighting the significance of starting conversations with our children about the importance of avoiding alcohol early and continuing the discussion throughout their childhood and adolescence.

“Underage drinking greatly increases the chances of addiction in the long term and poses safety, legal and academic problems in the short term,” Gov. Nathan Deal said. “In short, it brews nothing but trouble. Throughout her life, the First Lady has given back to her community by investing in healthy child development. Because of our shared concern about the proven dangers of underage drinking, I’ve declared August as Alcohol Awareness Month in Georgia. This is one of the many ways we’re working to keep Georgia’s young people on a path to good health and professional success.”

August Alcohol Awareness month is one of the many Georgia Children’s Cabinet’s initiatives to increase awareness on issues that affect children and families in the state of Georgia. These monthly initiatives are coordinated by the Cabinet for which Katie Jo Ballard, the Executive Director of GOCF, Co-Chairs with the First Lady. Every initiative has been strategically developed to promote healthy families and communities.

To this end, First Lady Sandra Deal visited Cross Keys High School in DeKalb County, Georgia on August 15th to present a proclamation signed by Governor Deal declaring August as Alcohol Awareness Month in Georgia. While there, students at Cross Keys were encouraged to participate in an upcoming video competition, Reel Change Georgia, hosted by the Governor’s Office for Children and Families in partnership with the Council on Alcohol and Drugs. The video competition is aimed at teaching students why it is important not to drink under 21. The video competition will go live in September 2013 and will be open all youth ages 12 – 18 in Georgia.

Underage drinking is a major problem in our community. Reel Change Georgia aims to get both children and parents involved in preventing underage drinking. Children who drink before age 15 are five times more likely to have alcohol problems when they’re adults. To combat the early onset of alcohol use, parents can use this time to speak with their children about the dangers and consequences of underage drinking while having fun creating a video at the same time. Research shows that a strong positive relationship between parents and their child in the early, formative years is one of the best predictors that the child will avoid alcohol and other drug problems. Establishing a strong pattern of communication now between you and your child will be of great value later on.

The Governor’s Office for Children and Families and The Council on Alcohol and Drugs want parents to know that with your help, progress is being made in the efforts to address underage drinking in our community. Alcohol Awareness Month offers community members an opportunity to work together to raise awareness and understanding about the negative consequences of alcohol, and take action in protecting our children. For more information about the video competition please visit

For more information, please contact Kay M. Manning, LCSW, MAC at The Council on Alcohol and Drugs at or at (770) 725-1837.

Kay M. Manning, LCSW, MAC
Associate Director of Prevention/Intervention
The Council on Alcohol and Drugs
Phone: (770) 725-1837