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Program Helps Teens Become "Street Smart"

Aug 23, 2008
Underage drinking presents crucial public health issues. The drug of choice among children and adolescents, the abuse of alcohol is associated with the deaths of approximately 5,000 young people under the age of 21 annually as a result of motor vehicle crashes, unintentional injuries, and homicides and suicides, according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism's Underage Drinking Research Initiative (NIAAA).

The Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine conducted a study that indicates when youth drink they tend to drink extensively, often consuming four to five drinks at one time. This is supported by a national survey presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which reports that about 90 percent of the alcohol consumed by youth under the age of 21 in the United States is in the form of binge drinking.

The season of prom and graduation is an exciting one in the lives of many teenagers, but it can also be a time when underage and binge drinking is most prevalent. One only needs to read the paper to be reminded of the deadly consequences underage drinking can exact. CITY Beverage-Chicago recognizes this serious societal issue. To remind teens of the dangers of drinking and drunk driving, the beverage distributor has once again sponsored the "Street Smart" program in Chicago-area high schools.

With vivid presentations from Illinois State Police and certified firefighter/paramedics, the program graphically demonstrates traumatic situations. More than 2000 students at four area high schools - King College Preparatory, Kenwood High School, St. Francis de Sales and Thomas Kelley High School - participated in the assemblies during the 2006-2007 school year. The programs are strategically timed for the period immediately before the high risk season of proms and graduations.

"An interactive program, "Street Smart" engages students rather than lecturing them," explained Tanya Cohn, CBC's Director of Government Affairs. "Through hands-on demonstrations and compelling videos, the participating teens obtain a better understanding of the consequences of irresponsible actions. Our ultimate goal is to help reduce the number of accidents and fatalities each year."

For the first time in its three year local history, local Aldermen attended the "Street Smart" presentations. "We were honored to host both Toni Preckwinkle from the 4th Ward and John Pope from the 10th Ward for our programs," continued Cohn. "CBC is delighted to recognize community leaders' support of efforts to curb underage drinking."

Using factual information, actual medical equipment and demonstrations involving students, the paramedics provide a real-life look at the dangers of teen drinking, drunk driving, illegal drug use and not wearing seat belts. Students also learn to recognize EMS procedures, which may reduce anxiety in actual traumatic experiences. This knowledge can be beneficial not only to the potential patient, but also to first responders and emergency room personnel.

Jeff Wright, principal of King College Preparatory, expressed his appreciation to CBC for making the "Street Smart" presentation so valuable. In a letter to CBC, Wright noted that the format, pictures and presenters made the topics very real. He hopes the facts will be "present in the minds of the students as they get into vehicles in the future."

Soave Enterprises is a diversified management and investment company founded by Detroit businessman Anthony L. Soave that provides strategic planning, financial and other management resources to its affiliated business ventures in the real estate, automotive retailing, beer distribution, scrap metal, industrial services and transportation industries, among others.

For more information on Anthony Soave and Soave Enterprises, please visit http://www.soave.com.
About the Author
Soave Enterprises diversified management and investment company founded by Detroit businessman Anthony Soave that provides strategic planning, financial and other management resources to its affiliated business ventures in the real estate, automotive retailing, beer distribution, scrap metal, industrial services and transportation industries, among others. For more information on Tony Soave and Soave Enterprises, please visit the website.
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