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Drug Free Coalition of Hall County launches Web site
This is the logo for "Face It," the new Web site established by the Drug Free Coalition of Hall County. - photo by For The Times

Click here for link to the Drug Free Coalition of Hall County's new Web site.

A new Internet Web site is asking folks to face the problems of substance abuse in Hall County.

The site,, reflects the slogan of the Drug Free Coalition of Hall County, "Face It." It contains video testimonials from local recovering addicts, information for parents and teens, online forums and links to related sites. With a focus on local content, the site soon will include a collection of statistics on teen drug use, underage alcohol sales, arrests and accidents in Hall County.

"Our hope is that this will be the cornerstone of a media campaign we are developing to reach out to all residents of Hall County," said J.P. Banks, Drug Free Coalition of Hall County project coordinator. "The Web site is something we hope to direct people to to get more information."

The coalition was formed in 2007 from a range of community volunteers to focus efforts on reducing abuse of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and prescription drugs. It looks to delay the age of onset, increase the local perception of harm and the perception of disapproval among peers and adults.

"We’re not treatment providers," Banks said. "What we’re all about is making environmental changes."

The Web site bears some similarities with the National Office of Drug Control Policy’s oft-promoted "Above the Influence" and "The Antidrug" sites, but with one key exception: It’s local.

Banks said the Web site will incorporate data gleaned from annual school surveys on teen drug use and arrests and accident information from local law enforcement agencies to establish benchmarks for Hall County’s drug problem.

The site will remain fluid and undergo changes as needed, with updates and new information for use by parents and teens, he said.

"We want people to come back time and again and use it as an information source for their own education and awareness," Banks said.

The group already plans some changes to the site based on early feedback from coalition members.

"The result of this collaborative effort is a dynamic, vibrant site that communicates information and provides avenues for interaction," said the site’s designer, Jonathan Vinson.

Jody Cooley, the leader of the coalition’s parent messaging workgroup, said the testimonial videos posted on the site are the first means of calling attention to the local issues of substance abuse.

"As parent and member of the coalition, I know there is a substance abuse problem in Hall County," Cooley said. "These videos are the first effort of the coalition to reach out to the parents and other adults and remind them that they can make a difference if they will ‘face it’."

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