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Campaign aimed at curbing youth binge drinking

Recent data suggest Denver youth binge drink at a greater frequency than other youth throughout the state and country.  One in five Denver middle and high school students report binge drinking in the past month, according to the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey conducted in 2008.  

To address this growing concern, the City and County of Denver, Office of Drug Strategy (DODS) is launching a campaign aimed at curbing youth binge drinking rates through its Denver Resource for Awareness and Prevention (Denver RAP) program. 

DODS defines binge drinking as consuming five or more drinks in a row.  

“It’s dangerous and concerning for youth to drink, let alone binge drink. We know youth who drink alcohol are at a greater risk of struggling in school, engaging in unwanted and unprotected sex, and having a greater chance of being physically assaulted or involved in a violent act,” Vanessa Fenley, DODS Director, said.  

A report from George Mason University indicates teens drink for pleasure, to reduce stress, and because it has become a social norm among their peers to get together to drink.

“There are many youth who know about the risks of drinking, know there are alternatives to drinking, and choose to do something better with their time than getting drunk. This campaign is aimed at reminding youth that there are better things to do, and that they can make a choice to not drink,” Fenley said. 

The campaign is funded in part by a 5-year grant from the Colorado Department of Human Services and the Division of Behavioral Health.  The campaign began in June 2011 and is planned to run through September 2014. 

For more information, visit Denver RAP on Facebook,