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Dane County Marks Start of Alcohol Abuse Awareness Month by Launching New Efforts to Warn of Dangers

For more information contact:

Joshua Wescott, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 4/5/2010

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive

New Book Detailing Human Tragedy, New Campaign for Parents, Plans for Evening Forums, Traveling Displays Unveiled at Press Conference

Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk was joined by parents of children killed by drunk drivers, law enforcement and emergency services officials, along with local medical professionals and the Dane County Coalition to Reduce Alcohol Abuse for a news conference today to mark the beginning of Alcohol Abuse Awareness Month.

Falk announced a series of new efforts, spearheaded by the Dane County Coalition she created in late 2008, that are beginning this month and are all intended to reduce the dangers to public safety, human tragedy, and financial harm, caused by alcohol overconsumption.  

"April is Alcohol Awareness Month nationally – here is Dane County we’ve got lots planned to confront the greatest public safety threat facing our county,” Falk said.  “We can change our alcohol misuse culture.  All across our county people from all walks of life and from every community are coming forward to help and say enough is enough.”

The new efforts announced by Falk include the publishing and release of a new book with a collection of stories of local families who have personally experienced the tragedy of alcohol abuse.  In addition, the Dane County Coalition to Reduce Alcohol Abuse is coordinating a local campaign entitled “Parents Who Host, Lose the Most” to call attention to the dangers of parents hosting parties for young people to drink alcohol. In addition to increased patrolling by law enforcement, this campaign will include putting up free yard signs across the county and making materials available to parents through schools and other venues.

Throughout Alcohol Abuse Awareness Month the Coalition, in conjunction with CUNA Mutual, will host a series of evening forums that will include presentations from law enforcement officials and experts on topics ranging from the dangers to women from drinking too much and the challenges of raising kids in a culture so accepting of alcohol abuse.  These forums will also showcase efforts by local high school students – including a video and skits -- to help young people learn of the risks of drinking.  There will also be testimonials from young people who are in recovery from alcohol addiction.. A full summary of these events is attached.

To help increase public awareness, a series of new television public service announcements (PSAs) created by well-known local media producer John Roach is also debuting this month.  In addition, local artist Stephanie Smith has created a traveling arts display that reflects the accounts of family members, media reports, and her personal explorations of her own neighborhood’s involvement with drinking and alcohol abuse.

Those interested in joining the cause and assisting the Dane County Coalition to Reduce Alcohol Abuse can now sign up on the group’s website located at: 

http://www.countyofdane.com/commissions/alcohol/

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