“Because heightened peer influence and a tendency toward risk taking are normal developmental changes in adolescence, experimentation with substances during this period is common. However, using drugs and alcohol at a young age increases the risk of dependency and addiction, and early onset of drinking increases the likelihood of alcohol-related injuries, motor vehicle crash involvement, unprotected intercourse, and interpersonal violence,” said Ardoin.
In an effort to tackle the problem in Bradley County, two organizations have formed a collaboration to better aid the community. The GRAAB Coalition (Going Respectively Against Addictive Behaviors) has formed a partnership with Audio C (Against Underage Drinking in our Community) to tag-team the issues of local substance abuse.
GRAAB’s current focus has been placed on prescription and over-the-counter drug and inhalant abuse, while Audio C deals specifically with alcohol consumption by minors. Both organizations took a look at their current situations and decided they could provided important resources to each other. While both organizations will remain independent from each other, members of the GRAAB board will sit on Audio C’s board, and vice versa.
This partnership comes on the heels of the GRAAB Coalition officially becoming a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and being entitled to all of the benefits of that status. Both organizations are still seeking additional board members, and GRAAB is looking for a new board president as current GRABB President David Webb completes his term of office and shifts his attention to the formation of the new GRAAB advisory board.
Those interested in serving on either board may contact the GRAAB Coalition office at 423-472-5800 or email: Joyce@graabcoalition.com or email@example.com.