The Information Dissemination Core of the UNC NIAAA Alcohol Research Center (ARC) has a two-fold objective: to disseminate scientific information on alcohol pathology to the public and to equip our trainees and faculty to communicate their science through community engagement. These goals integrate with the educational mission of the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies (BCAS) as a part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. To accomplish our goals, we partner with state-wide and nonprofit agencies in three integrated but separate aims. First, we will disseminate current research on the risks of adolescent binge drinking that induce long lasting changes in neurobiology. By partnering with the North Carolina ABC Commission, the North Carolina Governor?s Task Force on Underage Drinking, and the state-wide ?Talk It Out? campaign we will inform both parents and adolescents through multiple approaches. Current and accurate scientific information, is disseminated through the ?Talk It Out? TV and radio announcements and website, as well as the BCAS website. Second, we will provide education on the neurobiology of alcohol use to college students at risk for alcohol use problems. Our two target groups are first-time offenders with alcohol-related charges and UNC sorority/fraternity members.
This aim i s facilitated by partnering with Carpe Diem, a UNC- affiliated alcohol education program, and the UNC Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life and Community Involvement. Third, we train BCAS scientists ? with a particular focus on graduate students and postdoctoral fellows ? to effectively engage a broad audience in neuroscience outreach. Each year we develop new learning modules that center on an aspect of neuroscience, then provide training and resources to use them. For example, each year Core faculty develop a new interactive module aimed toward children and youth that is showcased during Brain Awareness Week at the local North Carolina Museum of Life and Science, and BCAS scientists are recruited to volunteer at the event. Additional programming aimed at adults focuses on alcohol neurobiology, intoxication and neuropathology. The Museum of Life and Science, as well as the UNC Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, are key partners in these efforts. Overall, these activities maximize the impact of the ARC to promote addiction research, healthy behavior and substance abuse prevention. Collaborative partnerships for the translation and scientific insight on alcohol drinking across the lifespan, including adolescence, will optimize the impact of scientific knowledge on health.
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