DISTILLED SPIRITS INDUSTRY PROVIDES GRANT TO U.S. NAVAL ACADEMY TO LAUNCH NEW ALCOHOL ABUSE PROGRAMS
ANNAPOLIS, Jan. 30, 2002 – The U.S. Naval Academy last week unveiled two new innovative approaches to combat alcohol abuse among midshipmen supported by a $20,000 grant from the Distilled Spirits Council and retailer David Trone of Corridor Fine Wines and Spirits in Laurel, Maryland. “The Naval Academy and the Distilled Spirits Council share the same goal: if you are of age, we want you to make responsible drinking decisions. If you are underage, we don’t want you to drink at all,” said Vice Adm. John R. Ryan, superintendent of the Naval Academy at a Jan. 23 press conference at the U.S. Naval Academy. “The Naval Academy has always taken alcohol abuse very seriously and has worked aggressively over the years to address this complex problem,” said Distilled Spirits Council President Peter H. Cressy, a retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral and former university chancellor. “We are pleased the Naval Academy is expanding their current alcohol abuse prevention programs with two new approaches they learned about at our Fall 2000 ‘The American Campus and Alcohol’ conference.” Vice Adm. Ryan said the support of the distilled spirits industry will assist the Academy in implementing two programs that are being used successfully on other campuses. The first program, called the “social norms” campaign, is based on the theory that some students drink excessively because they overestimate how much their peers are drinking. By informing students – through creative posters, ads and other materials – that most of their peers are drinking responsibly, students tend to reduce their own consumption to conform to their peers’ actual drinking behavior. The second program is based on creating integrated campus-community partnerships with local businesses that sell beverage alcohol products. As the starting point for program, the Naval Academy plans to provide beverage alcohol establishments with a plaque declaring that establishment’s support of the Naval Academy’s alcohol abuse prevention programs. The Academy also hopes to eventually have representatives of the local beverage alcohol industry join the Academy’s “Alcohol Working Group.” “Public-private partnerships are an essential component of any program to combat alcohol abuse,” said Cressy. “The key to effectively addressing this issue is maintaining an open dialogue between the academic institution, the local community and surrounding beverage alcohol businesses. The Distilled Spirits Council is pleased to be able to help facilitate this dialogue through funding new programs at the Academy.” The Naval Academy became aware of the Distilled Spirits Council’s matching grant program after participating in “The American Campus and Alcohol” conference, a national conference convened in Washington D.C. in Fall 2000 by the Distilled Spirits Council and five universities. The Academy, one of 34 participating universities, later applied for a matching grant from the Distilled Spirits Council and local beverage alcohol retailers to fund the alcohol abuse prevention program they developed at the working conference.