Office of Drug Control Policy
First Lady Glenna Fletcher announces a statewide campaign against underage drinking

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, March 15, 2006  
Contact Information:  Contact Stacy Floden
(502) 564-8220
(502)-382-7155(Cell)
 


Frankfort, Ky. - First Lady Glenna Fletcher along with the Office of Drug Control Policy, Kentucky State Police and the Office of Alcohol Beverage Control today announced a statewide campaign against underage drinking with a series of town hall meetings to take place across the commonwealth beginning March 28, 2006.  The town hall meetings are an opportunity to educate parents, teachers, officials, youth and other community members about the impact of underage drinking.

The campaign is part of a national campaign sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and in partnership with the Ad Council. First Lady Glenna Fletcher will serve as Kentucky’s honorary chairperson. The same agency also sponsors Leadership to Keep Children Alcohol Free an initiative headed by governors’ spouses that targets prevention of underage drinking in elementary school students.
“Underage drinking is a serious issue we cannot ignore.  The need for a public education campaign about the risks of underage drinking is absolutely crucial,” said First Lady Glenna Fletcher.  “In Kentucky alone, approximately 165,000 youth drink each year.  We must continue to focus on prevention and education efforts to reduce underage drinking in the commonwealth.”

“Although drinking under the age of 21 is illegal in all 50 states, there are still more than 10 million children in this country who drink alcohol illegally. On average, they start drinking when they are 13 years old,” said Teresa Barton, executive director of the Office of Drug Control Policy.  “Alcohol is far and away the most abused drug by American children."

“I cannot emphasize enough the importance of this campaign,” said First Lady Glenna Fletcher. “Parents have to realize this is not a problem affecting other people’s children. The numbers are very telling. This is every community’s concern and will require every community’s efforts.”

Kentucky communities chosen to participate in the program will receive a stipend of $1,000 from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

To view a list of scheduled town hall meetings in Kentucky visit www.stopalcoholabuse.gov and click on “Town Hall Locations.” For more information on Leadership to Keep Children Alcohol Free visit www.alcoholfreechildren.org.