Tuesday, May 15, 2001

Drug-free coalition plans a bigger role

5-year expansion to honor anniversary

By Tim Bonfield
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati plans to celebrate its fifth anniversary June 10 by launching plans to expand its services over the next five years.

        The coalition hopes to quadruple the number of its neighborhood coalitions, double the number of businesses in its drug-free workplace program, nearly double the amount of advertising in its anti-drug media campaign, and ex pand its parent education campaign.

        “Kids have told us, and the studies have shown us, that when parents talk to their children frequently about alcohol and drugs and set clear rules it helps prevent them from using,” said Rhonda Ramsey Molina, executive director of the coalition.

        The coalition was launched in 1996 by U.S. Rep. Rob Portman, R-Terrace Park.

        It has conducted regular surveys of drug and alcohol use among seventh- to 12th-graders and sponsored a variety of task forces to battle drug abuse.

        Its most recent survey, issued a year ago, indicated that alcohol use was up from 1999 and higher than national average. Marijuana use had remained constant.

        However, teens reported using several other types of drugs less often, including cocaine, heroin, inhalants, hallucinogens, uppers and downers.

        Starting this fall and continuing for the next five years, the coalition hopes to increase its neighborhood coalitions from 22 to at least 100; to double its workplace program by adding 100 small businesses (less than 100 employees) and to increase the value of donated anti-drug advertising from about $1 million this year to at least $1.8 million, Ms. Molina said.


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