Tri States Public Radio Staff
Fri December 23, 2011
Emphasis - December 23
Keokuk, IA – Jason Parrott's guest is Scott Gooding, who is the Lee County Coordinator for the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant.
Gooding will spend the next three years looking for ways to reduce certain alcohol-related activities in Lee County.
The state of Iowa received roughly $2.3-million from the federal government to develop a strategic plan for addressing substance abuse.
The grant will be shared by the 23 counties identified as being most in need of assistance.
Gooding says his focus is on two areas: adult binge drinking & underage alcohol abuse.
He says the current definition of binge drinking is a woman having three drinks or a man having four drinks in one sitting.
Gooding says alcohol is a serious issue in Lee County. He says that can be seen in the fact that the county has some of the highest rates of alcohol-related incidents, in particular teenage alcohol consumption and OWI/DUI.
Gooding says there are several reasons why the underage alcohol rate is high.
He says teenagers do not appreciate the consequences related with alcohol consumption. It is also easy to obtain alcohol through friends, family, or even their parents.
Gooding says the overall goal is to change the environment in Lee County to where binge drinking and underage alcohol use are reduced and eventually eliminated.
He says doing that will require new ordinances at the city and county levels.
Gooding says they could include more compliance checks, more training for those selling alcohol and limiting where it can be consumed.
He says getting these types of ordinances passed will require community members to step forward and push these ideas.
He says that is the biggest need for his effort at this point.
Gooding says change will not happen overnight, but rather, it will be a gradual process.
You can hear more with Scott Gooding by clicking the audio link above.