Cranford, NJ - The Cranford Municipal Alliance has begun its town-wide signage campaign against underage alcohol use, “21 Means 21”.  Designed to inform and educate adults that it’s unsafe, irresponsible, and illegal to contribute to underage drinking in any way, the Alliance has displayed 15 signs throughout Cranford that state; “In Our Town: 21 Means 21”, reminding everyone about the town’s zero tolerance policy.  
    Signs are displayed at various community buildings throughout the town such as; the community center, community pools and on local streets to continue the group’s effort to educate the community about the importance of taking a stand against underage alcohol and drug use. 
    Though progress is being made, underage drinking remains a persistent problem. According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 8.7 million Americans between ages 12-20 reported current alcohol consumption; this represents nearly 23% of this age group for whom alcohol consumption is illegal. Among 12-20 year olds, reported rates of past month consumption, binge drinking and heavy alcohol all declined between 2005 and 2014. 
    “Underage drinking, which can lead to early addiction and drug use is a national epidemic and Cranford is not exempt from the issue,” said William Ilaria, Chairman of the Cranford Municipal Alliance committee.  As a nation, we’ve seen a significant decrease in underage alcohol consumption over the past few years, especially in the High Schools.  However, there’s still work to be done to continue getting the message across to families about the importance of preventing underage alcohol and drug abuse.  We are excited about our “21 Means 21” initiative and hope it has a positive impact on our community. We need to create a "One town, One message" approach to our teens.” 

Local surveys and national statistics have proven that the majority of teens do not consume alcohol and the majority of parents do not condone its use among children. The Municipal Alliance works to support those parents and empower them to realize they are key to changing Cranford’s culture currently controlled by the minority of parents who actively serve or leave their homes unsupervised, inviting teen drinking, both which hold steep penalties and liabilities in the state of NJ.
    The Alliance would like to thank Detective Lieutenant Edward Davenport and the personnel of Cranford’s Traffic Division for installing the signs throughout the community.  The Alliance will be implementing other initiatives throughout the year, including a weekly dinner conversation starter that the committee posts on its Facebook page every Tuesday – also known as family dinner night.  For more information on the committee, please visit its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CranfordMunicipalAlliance /

About the Cranford Municipal Alliance:
The Cranford Municipal Alliance Committee is a community-based organization consisting of volunteer members which is dedicated to a comprehensive and coordinated effort to reduce and prevent substance abuse.  It is a local division of the New Jersey Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (GCADA).  

About the GCADA:
State Municipal Alliances are established by municipal ordinance and engage residents, local government and law enforcement officials, schools, nonprofit organizations, the faith community, parents, youth and other allies in efforts to prevent alcoholism and drug abuse in communities throughout New Jersey.