Live Healthy Douglas Recognizes Douglas County Schools, Youth for Commitment to End Underage Drinking

Students were inspired to get involved in the “Be the Wall” campaign following the October 2014 annual Power in Truth conference for Douglas County middle and high schools, with more than 500 students influenced by the campaign to reduce the risk of underage drinking and substance abuse for themselves and their friends.

Schools in Douglas County participated in a “Be the Wall” contest where they constructed a wall – the symbol of intervention and prevention between teens and alcohol – at their schools based on signed pledge cards indicating their commitments to abstain from substance abuse and prevent underage drinking.

Live Healthy Douglas (LHD) Coalition members recognized first place winner Douglas County High School and second place winner New Manchester High School at a recent school board meeting for their creativity and dedication to the “Be the Wall” message.

“By participating in the ‘Be the Wall’ campaign, youth in Douglas County schools have committed themselves to reducing risky behaviors in their lives – a choice that will help them achieve healthy lifestyles and decisions in the future,” said Cathy Wendholt-McDade, Director of Healthy Behaviors at Cobb & Douglas Public Health. “We are very proud of our teens and the community members that pledge to ‘be the wall’ and support commitments to stop underage drinking.”

According to the Georgia Student Health Survey, the age of onset for youth who choose to drink is 13 and has been for the last two years in Douglas County. A community assessment completed in 2012 revealed that 48% of 18-25 year olds feel their parents accept their drinking and that well over half of the parents in their community allow alcohol at parties hosted by their children.

Live Healthy Douglas is one of ten recipients in Region 1 for Alcohol Use/Abuse Prevention grants through the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, Division of Addictive Disease, Office of Prevention Services and Programs. Funds for this procurement are derived from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SAPTBG) designated for the State of Georgia.