Thursday, June 9, 2011

BCCS to Lead Prevention Campaigns to Safeguard Delawareans from Alcohol and Substance Abuse

Statewide Movements Aim to Reduce Consequences, Costs of Harmful Behaviors

Wilmington, Del. — Brandywine Counseling & Community Services (BCCS) has cemented its reputation as Delaware’s leading voice of alcohol and drug prevention, having been awarded two grants totaling $600,000 a year for three years, to create two statewide campaigns designed to prevent alcohol and drug abuse before any sign of a problem occur. The grants were awarded from the Delaware Division of Health & Social Services, Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health.

“For decades, our prevention efforts have focused on giving people all the information and resources they need to recognize the signs of drug and alcohol abuse,” said Dr. Lynn Fahey, CEO of BCCS. “These two new grants will help us expand these efforts and prevent drug and alcohol abuse before the abuse even begins.”

The first of the two campaigns, You. Front and Center, targets alcohol and other drug abuse among adults 18 and over. Delaware law enforcement agencies reported 5,538 adult drug arrests during 2006, and 2,551 alcohol related arrests. In addition, Delaware is above the national average for marijuana use by young adults, with 10.45% of the population 12 and older reporting they have used marijuana in the past year.

You. Front and Center will have many dimensions, all building Delaware’s capacity to measurably demonstrate changes in attitude toward alcohol and other drugs. The campaign targets the entire state, with special emphasis in Wilmington and Kent County where state data indicators show significant need. The core prevention education activity is delivery of an evidence-based curriculum called Prime for Life in a multi-session ongoing small class format. More than 250 people are expected to attend the class per year. In addition, BCCS will host several job fairs that will introduce Prime for Life to participants, create enthusiasm and recruit participants for the full program. Social media, traditional print media and special events will also promote the educational classes, while creating prevention dialogue and promoting messages that have been proven effective in prevention.

The second campaign, BTU – Beat The Urge, targets alcohol abuse among young people (“Y” and “Millennial” generations). In Delaware, binge drinking increases from a rate of 10% among eighth graders, to 23% among 18 to 20 year olds and to 64% among college students. Delaware is significantly higher than the national average for individuals 18 to 25 with alcohol dependence or abuse. There are severe consequences, in the form of injuries from alcohol-related crashes, arrests of minors for DUI, and more than $200 million a year in costs to the citizens of Delaware for medical care, work loss, and pain and suffering resulting from the use of alcohol by youth.

The alcohol prevention campaign has a strong peer-led component. BCCS is partnering with middle schools, high schools, colleges, community organizations and faith-based organizations to reach the young adult audience. This campaign, which also is statewide, will be highly visible through social media, traditional media and special events. A new evidence-based curriculum will be developed in a peer-to-peer format, creating enthusiasm and encouraging participants to get involved with the alcohol-free movement, in order to exponentially increase the number of people who become involved. In our first year, we expect to present the curriculum to approximately 300 young people and to train 20 adult trainers (such as school nurses) and 150 adolescent and young adult peer leaders.

The two prevention campaigns and all of their components will be measured for outcomes and impact. BCCS expects to demonstrate changes in attitude toward alcohol, marijuana, prescription opiates and heroin among high-risk populations. In the long term, BCCS aims to produce measurable, statewide change and sustainable outcomes within Delaware communities related to alcohol and drug use, such as: a decrease in underage and binge drinking, a decrease in alcohol and drug related traffic crashes, and a decrease in costs associated with alcohol and drug-related violence and traffic crashes.

Achieving changed individual attitudes that prevent the onset of behaviors which are costly to personal health, to community health and to Delaware is an important step toward a healthier future. BCCS seeks to create dialogue about the shared responsibility we have to safeguard ourselves and our loved ones from alcohol and substance abuse.

About Brandywine Counseling & Community Services
For 25 years, Brandywine Counseling & Community Services, Inc. has been a trusted provider of outstanding substance abuse and behavioral treatment, HIV/AIDS prevention and education initiatives, mental health and advocacy services. BCCS is Delaware's most recognized provider of behavioral services with seven locations statewide. The core program offerings fall under one of four critical areas of care: Education, Advocacy, Prevention and Treatment. For more information about BCCS, visit 

For more information, please contact Basha Silverman at (302) 655-9880 ext. 123 or

1 comment:

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