Middle Schoolers Invited to Compete in Underage Drinking PSA Art Contest

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Mariha Samapti, a seventh grader at Pleasantville Middle School, was the winner of Join Together’s PSA contest and had her artwork turned into a billboard.

Join Together Atlantic County, a countywide substance abuse prevention coalition, is holding a public service announcement contest for sixth through eighth graders in Atlantic County to help prevent underage drinking.

Students are invited to create an 8.5-by-11-inch landscape direction PSA as a message to parents from young people about the dangers of underage drinking or providing alcohol to those under 21. The top three winners will receive prizes, and the first place winner’s entry may be turned into a billboard.

The younger a person starts drinking, the more likely he or she is to have alcohol problems later in life, according to a news release.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, people who start drinking before the age of 15 are at a higher risk for developing alcohol use disorder later in their lives. The brain is still forming until the early twenties and teen drinking can cause permanent brain damage.

Most young people do not drink alcohol, the release says.

Rules and regulations for the middle school PSA contest can be found at www.jtacnj.org/news.

Entries are due to the Atlantic Prevention Resources office at 626 N. Shore Road, Absecon, N.J. 08201 or emailed to acutano@atlprev.org no later than 4 p.m. Friday, May 21.

For more information, contact Amber Cutano at 609-272-0101, ext. 271 or acutano@atlprev.org.

By participating in this contest, young people will support Join Together Atlantic County in its mission to prevent, reduce and/or delay substance use among the youth of Atlantic County in a long term and sustainable manner.