In partnership with the State's SetTheRulesCT campaign, local organizations are getting the message out during National Alcohol Awareness Month

Connecticut -- Local substance abuse prevention coalitions move into high gear this month, National Alcohol Awareness Month, joining together in a public awareness campaign to reduce underage drinking in Connecticut. For the first time, local communities, including Darien, are partnering with the State of Connecticut's SetTheRulesCT campaign, which aims to educate parents about Connecticut's Social Host law and the impact of alcohol on the teen brain.

The State's federally funded SetTheRulesCT campaign is featured on television, radio, bus and billboard advertising throughout Connecticut. A website, SetTheRulesCT.org, offers parents information, news and resources about where to find help locally.

"I have found that SetTheRulesCT is one of the most comprehensive and informative resources for parents ... in regards to preventing underage drinking and the effects of alcohol on the brain," noted Kim McTighe, a youth counselor at the Vernon Youth Services Bureau. "Partnering with the State in this effort broadens our reach and helps us get this critical information out to parents in a more effective way."

Parents tend to dramatically underestimate teenage binge drinking and their own child's drinking in particular. In some cases, parents enable and/or condone underage drinking. In anticipation of prom and graduation season, dozens of local substance abuse prevention coalitions across Connecticut are tailoring the SetTheRulesCT advertisements for use in their own communities. These coalitions have coordinated their advertising efforts to complement the State's campaign this spring.

The Connecticut coalitions and communities participating in the SetTheRulesCT campaign include Lower Fairfield County Regional Action Council (LFRAC) (serving Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, and New Canaan)

Bridgeport will implement the campaign by featuring the prevention messages on yard signs, billboards, cinema advertising, buses, and floor decals appearing in alcohol retail establishments.

"We've received a lot of positive feedback from the community about our efforts to fight the ongoing battle of underage drinking," said Valerie Sorrentino of the Bridgeport United Coalition. "We feel confident in our prevention campaign and hope to see great results."

To learn more about SetTheRulesCT, Connecticut's underage drinking laws, the impact of alcohol on the teen brain, and to find local resources by town, visit SetTheRulesCT.org.

The U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is addressing the growing problem of underage drinking through numerous initiatives, including public advertising programs. The SetTheRulesCT public awareness campaign is funded entirely through the agency's Enforcing the Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL) program. SetTheRulesCT is administered by the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) and the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee (JJAC).

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