Virginia ABC > About > Media Room > 2017 > BOLT Program

March 01, 2017

News Release Contact:

Kathleen Shaw - (804) 213-4640
Email: kathleen.shaw@abc.virginia.gov

Virginia ABC Sponsors “BOLT” Middle School Initiative to Help Prevent Underage Alcohol and Drug Use

The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) continues to spread its prevention message to youth with the launch of its fourth annual Being Outstanding Leaders Together Against Drugs and Alcohol (BOLT) program for middle school students.

BOLT events encourage conversations between parents and preteens about the dangers of drugs and alcohol and are hosted by community groups through a partnership with Virginia ABC’s Education and Prevention Section. The following March BOLT events are FREE and open to middle school students and their parents:

  • Tuesday, March 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Monticello Middle School, 1400 Independence Way, Charlottesville. Students and parents from the Charlottesville area are invited to attend. Parents will hear a presentation from Susan Bruce, director of the University of Virginia’s Gordie Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, while students will engage with motivational speaker David Flood. A free dinner will be provided and coincide with a prevention fair showcasing numerous community resources. Register at: http://www.youchoosecville.com/events. For more information contact Kate Modica at katherine.modica@regionten.org.
  • Saturday, March 25, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lafayette High School, 4460 Longhill Road, Williamsburg. Students and parents from Williamsburg, Newport News and West Point, as well as James City, Surry and New Kent counties are invited to attend. Motivational speaker Anthony Mungin will open the event and parents and students will have a chance to participate in workshops that address BOLT’s learning objectives. A free breakfast and lunch will be available to participants, and a pep rally will close the session. Register at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7PN59ZB. For more information contact Jamie Plecker at jamie.plecker@nn.k12.va.us.

According to a 2016 Monitoring the Future Survey, nearly 23 percent of eighth graders report having drunk alcohol at least once, and a 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey revealed seven percent of middle school students took prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription and nearly eight percent drank alcohol for the first time before age 11.

“Middle school is a time when many students are exposed to alcohol and drugs for the first time,” said ABC Education and Prevention Manager Katie Weaks. “BOLT allows us to reach this critical age group and equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy life choices.”

The educational objectives of the BOLT program include:

  • Understand the detrimental effects of drugs and alcohol on the body and brain, their impact on academic performance and the risk of legal consequences;
  • Grasp the importance of peer leadership and recognize the skills and abilities of a peer leader; and
  • Recognize the role alcohol and drugs play in youth relationships, suicide and interpersonal violence and understand the concepts of social providing and peer pressure.

# # #

The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is a major source of revenue for the commonwealth, contributing more than $1.9 billion to the general fund in the last five years. The agency currently operates 364 state stores. Its Bureau of Law Enforcement oversees more than 17,000 ABC licensed establishments while the Hearings and Appeals Division considers more than 700 cases each year. The agency also provides alcohol education and prevention programs for people of all ages. Now marking its 83rd year, ABC remains committed to progress and innovation in carrying out its control, service and revenue mission.

Facebook and Twitter: Virginia ABC