CHICAGO: The American Medical Association (AMA) is using the
back-to-school season to highlight its "A Matter of Degree" pilot
project to draw attention to college binge-drinking.
On August 29, the AMA held a satellite feed to release the results of
its first nationwide binge-drinking survey. It also released a "Top 10"
checklist of warning signs to help parents assess their child's risk for
alcohol-related problems. Good Morning America, AP, CNN, Newsday, and
ABC Radio picked up the poll.
DC-based Fenton Communications is working with the AMA, helping perform
media outreach and develop a message.
Funding for the campaign comes from the Robert Wood Johnson
The budget for the polling initiative and the "A Matter of Degree"
campaign is $1.75 million.
The next step is a fall policy briefing that will be held at the
National Press Club in October.
Each university is developing its own plan, which the AMA will then help
implement. Initiatives so far include keg registration laws, off-campus
living brochures, alcohol-free tailgate party areas, substance-free
housing, and a Greek alcohol summit to persuade fraternities and
sororities to discourage underage drinking.
"Problems for underage drinkers differ from school to school," said Lisa
Erk, communications director for the project, "so our attitude is to
allow these schools to create the best system for their environment."