After being selected to take part in the implementation of a statewide Alcohol Prevention Initiative in the Fall of 2011- through the Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD), we formed as the ‘Coalition to Prevent the Misuse of Alcohol’ (CPMA).
During this time, our focus has been on reducing the early onset of alcohol use among youth and reducing access to alcohol among youth. In early 2018, the Coalition rebranded as Bartow Against Drugs (BAD), and expanded our efforts to include additional substance use issues within Bartow County and to serve as a vital resource for community members looking for help.
Scott is the Program Coordinator for Georgia’s Alcohol Substance Abuse Prevention Project (ASAPP) in Bartow County.
Christa is the Assistant Program Coordinator for ASAPP
Valerie Gilreath is a team member and evaluator for Bartow Against Drugs local prevention activities.
BAD collaborates with local community members and organizations to ensure that Bartow County is aware of the local substance use issues among youth, and how we can work together to reduce these problems. We hope to serve as a resource for concerned parents, grandparents, or friends looking to find help for their loved one, as well as working to educate our future generations on the impact of their life choices.
Ongoing prevention activities include:
Positive Social Norms Campaign
The social norms approach to behavior change focuses on the perceptions of peer attitudes. Each person’s attitudes and behaviors are influenced by their perception of their peers’ attitudes and behavior. The reality that most young people do not engage in alcohol and drug use is promoted through positive posters and social media images which are developed with the help of youth.
Retail Compliance Program: “Reward and Reminder”
The Alcohol Reward and Reminder Program is an evidenced-based program developed to educate and/or reward local businesses for their efforts to keep alcohol out of the hands of minors. Here’s how the program works:
- Local retailers will be visited at least once a year by a team made up of a trained adult surveyor and a trained 21-year-old who looks underage.
- The 21-year-old will attempt to purchase alcohol without any proof of age while the surveyor observes nearby.
- If the clerk refuses the sale for not having any proof of age or any reason, the 21-year-old will leave the store and the surveyor will step forward and thank the clerk for checking ID’s and not selling alcohol to kids. The clerk will be given a Reward Card to fill out and mail in for a chance to win a $100 gift card drawn quarterly.
If the clerk does not ask for proper ID and appears willing to make a sale, the 21-year-old will NOT purchase alcohol but instead leave the store. The surveyor will then
Too Good For Drugs (TGFD) Curriculum
TGFD puts social and emotional learning to work through fun and interactive lessons, building the self-confidence young people need to make healthy choices and achieve success. Too Good for Drugs and Too Good for Violence – Social Perspectives promote positive, pro-social attitudes and behavior, while fostering healthy relationships, resistance to substance abuse and conflict, and resistance to negative peer pressure and influence.
Red Ribbon Drug Awareness
Every October is set aside for drug awareness in the schools. The week of October 23-31 is designated as Red Ribbon Week but awareness activities occur throughout the month. BAD provides campaign materials to local schools in order to promote the drug prevention messages.
The first Red Ribbon Week was initiated in 1985 in response to the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena. Angered parents and youth in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction caused by drugs in America. Red Ribbon Week continues to serve as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities. Visit www.redribbon.org for more information.
Participation in the Teen Maze
Every May, all 8th graders in the community attend the Teen Maze at Georgia Highlands College. This is a life-sized game of life that lets youth experience the consequences of decisions about sex, alcohol and other drugs and how it impacts their education and future goals. BAD members participate in the Rehab Center station within the Maze and provide drug and alcohol information to the youth.
Safe Sober Prom Campaign
This campaign targets high school students during prom season. Bartow Youth Action Team and our local schools partner to share information and alternative activities to promote safe and sober prom celebrations and prevent alcohol-related problems.
Drug Drop Event
BAD partners with the Bartow County Sheriff’s Department for the annual Drug Drop Off event. The purpose of the event is to get unused and expired prescriptions out of circulation, and to keep them out of the landfill and our water supply. This also helps to reduce prescription abuse among our youth.
BAD functions with the contribution and aid of its CPAW, which is comprised of enthusiastic members representing law enforcement, the two school systems, Juvenile Justice, local therapists, parents, business leaders, non profits, and youth. BAD works to utilize each member’s area of expertise to accomplish all of our initiatives. Coalition members are continually finding new ways to network and partner with other agencies and groups, and our representatives are well-known in Bartow County for the service work they currently provide.