Virginia ABC launches online program aimed at preventing substance abuse

Virginia ABC launches online program aimed at preventing substance abuse
A Virginia ABC store has closed after the roommate of an employee tested positive for COVID-19. (Source: ABC Store)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority has launched a new program online that aims to prevent substance abuse among middle school-age students.

The Being Outstanding Leaders Together Against Drugs and Alcohol (BOLT) was first offered in 2014 and “provides educators free training and resources designed to serve as a guide to preventing youth substance use at this pivotal developmental stage.”

BOLT also helps support middle school prevention campaigns and activities in the classroom.

“Middle school is a time when many students are exposed to alcohol and other drugs for the first time,” said ABC Education and Prevention Manager Katie Crumble. “BOLT allows us to effectively reach this critical age group and equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy life choices.”

Virginia ABC says the goals of BOLT include increasing students’ abilities to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of the effects of alcohol and other drugs on the body and brain;
  • identify substance use consequences;
  • understand the importance of peer leadership and positive decision making; and
  • recognize youth substance use influences and the key concepts of social providing and peer pressure.

“With uncertainty about students returning to the classroom still lingering in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, BOLT materials are being offered in formats to incorporate in both in-person and distance learning lesson plans. Classroom resources can be presented through screen share, and worksheets can be uploaded to a school’s online platform for distribution,” Virginia ABC said in a release.

For more information on BOLT, click here.

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