MADD Goes Multimedia in Hopes of Reaching Early Teens

October 17, 2003 - Posted at 10:45pm

ASH FLAT, AR -- A new study at Boston University shows teens who first get drunk at early ages are more likely to become alcohol dependent, drink and drive and take more risks which cause serious injuries. "I was 13 when I started drinking. Um, it was hard alcohol mostly," said Emily Vinyard. A program which began October 16, 2003 is aimed at kids just like Vinyard.

It's called FACE, and is sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving and DaimlerChrysler's Road Ready Teens program. It's a 35 minute multi-media presentation of popular music, movie clips and video clips.

Sharon Qualls, MADD Sharp County Coordinator, said even though Sharp County is dry, drunk driving is a huge problem. Qualls and others in MADD work in schools to warn kids about alcohol at an early age. She commented that the new FACE program should be a success.

"It's teens talking to teens, and they're more apt to listen when their peers speak to them. About 42% of them said that they would not be consuming alcohol in the future, because of what they had learned on these videos."

Representatives at MADD have learned, the longer they can delay the point at which kids start drinking, the less likely they'll have alcohol problems when they become adults.

Vinyard added, "I've gotten a second chance, and I've learned from my mistakes, and I just want to get the message out that not everyone is able to have that second chance, and so why would you want to risk something like that."

So far more than 2,000 schools nationwide have asked to see the FACE presentation; two of them are in Missouri, but none are in Arkansas.