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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@delaware.gov

Date: April 23, 2014


NEW CASTLE (April 23, 2014) - The Delaware Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health will kick off Alcohol Prevention Week April 26-May 3 with a free morning of activities, including public service videos made by Delaware young people, on Saturday, April 26 at Penn Cinema Riverfront.

The theme of this year's Alcohol Prevention Week is "Prevention Works! Celebrating Those Who Understand If You Are Underage, Don't Drink!"

Saturday's kickoff event is a community gathering at Penn Cinema Riverfront, 401 S. Madison St., Wilmington. Participants can meet this year's 19 mini-grant recipients, talk with substance abuse prevention exhibitors, view the public service videos and enjoy a free screening of "Rio 2." Tickets are available online at Eventbrite (search for "2014 Alcohol Prevention Week Kick-off" under Wilmington).

The goal of prevention week is to create and promote culturally competent prevention-based messaging, information and education to increase the understanding of the importance of substance abuse prevention. In support of Delaware Alcohol Prevention Week, the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health awarded 19 mini-grants for community substance abuse prevention activities happening during the week and focused on the target population ages 12-25.

"The most critical aspect of dealing with Delaware's addiction epidemic is to educate our young people about the dangers of alcohol and other drugs in order to prevent that initial experimentation," Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf said. "Alcohol Prevention Week and the mini-grant recipients offer a great way to reach young people where they are with a simple message: If you are underage, don't drink."

According to a 2013 survey by the Center for Drug and Alcohol Studies at the University of Delaware, 35 percent of Delaware 11th-graders reported using alcohol in the past month. In a 2011 College Risk Behaviors Study, the UD center found that 78 percent of UD students reported drinking alcohol within the past month, including two out of three freshmen. In addition, six out of 10 UD students reported they were binge drinkers, consuming five or more drinks in one sitting within the past month.

The 19 recipients who received Strategic Prevention Framework-State Incentive Grants of $1,000 each are: Appoquinimink High School, Be a Leader & NCNPC, Be Ready Community Development Corp., DE Hoops for Life, Delaware State University, DHS Parents Community Center/KCAP, Duffy's Hope - H.O.P.E. Substance Free Ambassadors, Duffy's Hope - Tip Off Classic, Dunlieth Civic Association, House of Judah, Mount Pleasant High School, Newark High School Parent, Teacher, Student Association, Odyssey Charter School, Reach Academy for Girls, ReTemp Development Center, Simonds Gardens Blue Print, Sussex Tech High School, The SmartDrive Foundation, Inc., and University of Delaware Police Department.

In addition to the community activities planned around the grants, the annual WilmFilm Festival, April 24-27, will feature the prevention public service videos as previews for all of the films being shown during the festival at the Penn Cinema Riverfront.

For more information, contact Cecilia Willis, Project Director, at Cecilia.Willis@delaware.gov, or (302) 255-9433.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.