ART Alcohol Awareness campaign underway

Published 12:26 pm Wednesday, April 17, 2019

In the middle of the brown paper bag, the shadow of a parent holding a cup of alcohol looks out the window to a scene in vivid color: the parent’s young child sitting alone on a swing.

“The thing about having an alcoholic parent is an alcoholic parent does not exist,” a student wrote on the bag. “Be a part of the ones (sic) life you love and put the cup down.”

Amber Fields, peer support specialist at ART (Achieving Recovery Together), said that bag was one of yet another year of heartbreaking artwork done by students in Clark County Public Schools as part of ART’s annual Alcohol Awareness Month campaign.

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According to its website, Alcohol Awareness Month began in 1987 to “help reduce the stigma so often associated with alcohol addiction by encouraging communities to reach out to the American public each April with information about alcohol, alcohol addiction and recovery.” This year’s theme is: “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow.”

Alcohol addiction is a chronic, progressive disease, genetically predisposed and fatal if untreated. People with alcohol addiction are also more likely to perform poorly at work.

Fields previously told The Sun it’s hard to track the exact number of people dealing with alcoholism or the effects of alcoholism, but an estimated 4,000 Clark County residents needed treatment for alcoholism last year. Kentucky is also ranked third in the nation for binge-drinking.

Judges looked through the bags Tuesday, choosing the top three bags from each school. George Rogers Clark High School and Campbell Junior High School students decorated about 650 paper grocery bags which ART plans to return to local grocery stores to pass out to patrons.

Potential prizes include Bluetooth earbuds, a Bluetooth speaker and an iTunes gift card.

Students did their best to show the dangers of alcohol on their bags; whether it be humorous such as the “Let’s Taco about alcohol Donut do it” bag, or through a grim reality such as one student who wrote, “Don’t do drugs or you’ll be friends with my mom.”

Another bag with a colorful, tall tree, a dog and a family evokes hope, urging its readers to live their happiest life “drug-free.” Other bags say, “Don’t drink, it can ruin your life;” “Alcohol can cause brain damage and liver cancer. Know the risk;” Alcohol: Temporary Fun, Permanent Consequences;” and more.

Fields said ART plans to announce the winners of the bag art contest next week.

“Kids have figured it out more than we ever will,” Fields said.

About Lashana Harney

Lashana Harney is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. Her beats include schools and education, business and commerce, Winchester Municipal Utilities and other news. To contact her, email or call 859-759-0015.

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