|Office of the Chancellor / Public Affairs||
Thursday, September 30, 2004
Eureka Times-Standard 9-30-04
County receives grant to curb binge drinking
EUREKA -- In a week full of statistics about the county's high rates of drug and alcohol abuse, here's some good news: The county has received a grant to reduce binge drinking in the community.
The California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs announced that 13 counties, including Humboldt, will receive a combined $10.2 million over three years. The money comes from a State Incentive Grant from the federal Department of Health and Human Services' Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.
Binge drinking is defined as consuming five or more drinks in one sitting for a man or four drinks for a woman, although that depends on body mass and weight, said Humboldt County Senior Health Program Manager Peggy Falk. She said college students are often particularly susceptible, since a woman who's 18 and weighs less than 120 pounds may not realize how quickly alcohol can affect her.
The dangers associated with binge drinking include alcohol poisoning, accidents, sexual assault, unplanned pregnancies, assaults and liver damage, Falk said. She said local hospitals regularly have county residents admitted for alcohol poisoning.
The county has received a planning grant for the first year and will receive money for two more years once the state reviews the plan. Falk said she hasn't yet received official notification of the grant and isn't sure exactly how much the county has received. The county applied for $120,000.
In a 2001 survey, 21 percent of Humboldt County adults reported binge drinking at least once in the last month and 5 percent reported having done so at least five times a month. Fourteen percent of 18-to-25-year-olds reported binge drinking at least five times a month.
Among Humboldt State University students, 44 percent of males and 28 percent of females reported binge drinking within the two weeks before a 2002 survey. Nineteen percent of ninth-graders and 36 percent of 11th-graders reported bingeing on alcohol in the last month.
"They're pretty shocking statistics," Falk said. "They're pretty tragic statistics. The question we keep looking at is what we can do in this community, as a community, to bring these statistics down."
To that end, the county is working with other community agencies including HSU, Eureka City Schools and the Fortuna Police Department. They'll target 18-to-24-year-olds and use research on programs that have shown to be effective in other communities, she said.
Falk said the coalition will hold planning meetings around the county.
These news clips are provided by the Public Affairs Department of The California State University. They are intended for the internal use of The California State University system and should not be redistributed. Questions and submissions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.