Campus drinking program under way

The International Institute for Alcohol Awareness (IIAA) today launched Be WISE, a program aimed at curbing underage and problem drinking on college and university campuses.

Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc. is funding the program. It involves all members of the college community in a collective effort to tackle the unique challenges of alcohol abuse in their communities, according to a statement released by the program founder.

The program calls on university administration officials, faculty, parents, students, retailers and law enforcement to mobilize together to eliminate underage and problem drinking.

The statement went on to say, "Be WISE provides relevant, action-oriented, evidence-based tools for each member of the community in addressing alcohol abuse. IIAA conducted extensive research on programs that have been effective in college communities, culminating in the launch of a best practices toolkit and Web site."

The University of Louisville is the first to officially implement Be WISE. The program launched today at an educational summit held in Frankfort, KY, along with 19 Kentucky colleges and universities. The summit was facilitated by IIAA, Beam Global Spirits & Wine and the Kentucky Network for Collegiate Substance Abuse Prevention. Its agenda was to address how colleges and universities can work together in finding the best solutions to address alcohol abuse. Policymakers, public health experts and college and university representatives participated in the conference.

“Community-based solutions are essential if we are to successfully address underage and problem drinking on campus,” said Jim Copple, IIAA president. “It is only through integrated and innovative partnerships like Be WISE that communities, law enforcement officials, public health experts, parents, students and retailers can work in partnership to achieve a safer environment.”

“While we sometimes find ourselves on the opposite side of issues with alcohol companies, we found a willing partner in the fight against underage drinking in Beam Global,” Copple said. “Strategic partnerships are essential if we are to make headway in the battle to prevent underage drinking. Deciding to partner with Beam Global was easy based on the company’s track record in developing innovative ways to address issues such as drunk driving and setting the strictest standards on the placement of alcohol advertising.”

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