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To boost efforts against teenage drinking, Fulton County will be receiving a total amount of $871,800 in the next three years as a federal grant which was confirmed by officials of the coalition Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Partner’s Promise.

According to a feature on The Leader Herald, the money will be awarded to NY’s state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services' Prevention First-NY initiative through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant.

Promise’s Project Coordinator Rachel Truckenmiller said that Fulton County was given the financial support as figures show that the county’s underage drinking rates are way beyond the average. The funds will be used to fund education, police initiatives against sellers who allow minors to buy alcoholic drinks in Fulton County, additional drunk-driving patrols, and media campaigns. Their target age group will be students in the ninth to twelfth grades.

To monitor the progress of projects funded under the grant, a data coordinator has been assigned for documentation of all survey results and statistics data to clearly determine underage drinking in the area. The program aims to focus on teen alcohol and substance abuse as well as parents’ involvement in the prevention and treatment of their children’s addiction problems.

In the latest data gathered by Truckenmiller and her team, children who start drinking before the age of 15 increase their risk of becoming alcoholics in their adult life by up to four times. They also found out that binge drinking among adolescents is up 15% in the last few years. This makes law enforcement and health efforts on the control of alcohol use a “very expensive” endeavor and yet they don’t have any choice but to abide by their duties.

The same county has already acquired a five-year federal Drug-Free Community Grant that provides $125,000 each year for measures aimed against drug abuse.