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Press Release

The Solano County Office of Education in association with Timeline Media Productions is pleased to announce the release of the documentary “Binge Drinking: The Rite of Passage.” Dave Padilla, news broadcaster for KCBS, has 31 year of experience in the field of interviewing people for news stories and conducted all key interviews, co-wrote the script, and provided the voice over.

Funding for the documentary was made possible by the Solano County District Attorney’s Office which takes 15% of drug asset forfeitures (sale of houses, cars,
other materials seized in drug raids) and puts it in an account. After the account builds up, the District Attorney, Solano County Sheriff and local police chiefs decides what to do with the funding. This year it was decided to give it to the Solano County Friday Night Live Program.

This documentary focuses on the dangers of teenage binge drinking and was released in the Spring when high school seniors are getting ready to go to college. It will also be shown at local colleges during admit weekends for the parents of incoming freshman. It features interviews from experts in the field including doctors, law enforcement and therapists along with students who binge drink and parents who have lost their children to binge drinking.

“Binge Drinking: The Rite of Passage” is part of a DVD Toolkit that also includes an educational curriculum for teachers along with additional resource material. It has been distributed to all high schools in Solano County, as well as all counties with the Friday Night Live programs (54 of the 58 counties in California) for their use. The DVD Toolkit is also available for purchase.

According to the Economic Cost of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the U.S., National Institute on Drug Abuse & National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, approximately 40 percent of college students engage in binge drinking. Thirty percent of 11th graders surveyed in the 10th Biennial
California Student Survey used alcohol excessively in 2003-2004. These are driving age youth, 16 and 17 years old. Another report by a task force of the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that on an average day four college students die in accidents involving alcohol. According to California Alcohol and Drug Programs, in 2004, it was estimated that of all Californians aged 12 years and older, 7.5 million persons were binge drinkers (drinking five or more drinks on one occasion during the past month).

In prevention, we continue to be concerned about youth alcohol, tobacco and other drug use; therefore, we must energetically pursue a course of action that promotes healthy choices and challenges community environments. We have learned over the last decade that alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD) is often the thread that runs through other problem areas in the lives of young people and their families. Whether it’s mental, physical, or high-risk behavioral problems facing youth, alcohol and other drugs are predominantly in the mix.