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:
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:
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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.