Although at least one lawmaker believes the state has already saturated the public consciousness with the dangers of alcohol, state substance abuse prevention advocates want $71,000 in 2009 to focus on young, pregnant women.
They are the most at-risk group but they aren't getting the message for some reason, agency staff members told the Legislature's Joint Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee on Thursday.
HB38 changes human services law in order to start a public education and outreach program regarding the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other substances that are harmful during pregnancy. The bill also directs the state to make known they types of treatment available to avoid or stop using.
"We've heard about and been told of the bad effects of alcohol our whole lives," said Rep.Paul Neuenschwander, R-Bountiful. "We see every day public education campaigns on TV and in newspapers. What's going to be in this message that's different or likely to be heard by this group?"
"You may hear it and know it, and I may know it, but that doesn't mean the message is getting through to everyone," responded Mark Payne, director of the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. "We're still seeing a lot of fetal alcohol syndrome in babies," noting that there's plenty of other evidence that we are not getting through to this critical population.