Ohio Department of Commerce Launches Campaign to Reduce Underage Use and Overconsumption of Alcohol

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The Redefine campaign challenges common attitudes and behaviors surrounding alcohol use and abuse

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“We’re passionate about leading this movement that advocates for more personal responsibility when it comes to alcohol use."

The Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Liquor Control has announced a new social awareness campaign that de-emphasizes the role of alcohol in compelling and memorable experiences. The Redefine campaign seeks to “redefine” and challenge common beliefs about the relationship between alcohol and fun through creative messaging and visuals. It emphasizes that a full and exciting life does not have to involve drinking or drinking in excess.

The campaign will speak to audiences who have been conditioned to associate good times with the consumption of alcohol. The campaign will avoid typical “scare tactic” approaches, which have been generally ineffective in changing attitudes and behaviors. Redefine is directed at both underage drinkers and users of legal age who may overconsume alcohol.

It has been shown that nearly 20 percent of Ohio adults have engaged in binge drinking within the past 30 days. Studies have also concluded that excessive alcohol use leads to decreased productivity at work and increased healthcare and law enforcement costs.

Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused substance among youth in the U.S. The average Ohio high school student starts drinking by age 13. Binge drinking accounts for nearly 90 percent of underage alcohol consumption.

Aspects of the Redefine campaign will also be directed at alcohol retailers and their employees to ensure their definition of success includes keeping their communities safe by not selling to underage or intoxicated consumers.

“We have a responsibility to keep Ohioans safe, sound and secure. While we permit and license businesses, we are also responsible for educating them on the dangers of underage drinking and overconsumption,” said Ohio Department of Commerce Director Jacqueline T. Williams. “This new campaign allows us to work in communities across Ohio to influence behavior change.”

The campaign's website, RedefineOhio.org, launched on May 8 and acts as a resource where parents, teachers and community partners can access content including branded images, videos and social media posts to share via platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. The campaign has pages on Facebook and Instagram to connect with underage audiences as well as alcohol distributors.

The Redefine campaign will incorporate positive and engaging visual content to promote a lifestyle centered around authenticity, passion and living in the moment. The campaign will utilize inspirational images that encourage “living life to the fullest” and “living your best life” while also demonstrating responsibility.

Materials will be distributed to local community partners including schools, colleges, state of Ohio agencies, retailers and distributors and the media to support their efforts to prevent underage drinking and overconsumption of alcohol.

“We’re passionate about leading this movement that advocates for more personal responsibility when it comes to alcohol use,” Division of Liquor Control Superintendent Jim Canepa said. “It takes a village to make a change, and we’re grateful to have strong partnerships to help spread our message.”

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