Big Victory for Oregon Anti-Drug Coalition with Borders Books

Here’s a good example of positive action taken to discourage drug use among youth….A press release from Umpqua Partners:

Concern expressed by a community volunteer of UMPQUA PARTNERS FOR A DRUG-FREE FUTURE, a drug prevention coalition in Douglas County, has resulted in Borders Group, Inc. taking positive action to ensure adult oriented products be placed in a top shelf location far away from view of children and teens.

Marlene Petersen, one of the founding members of Umpqua Partners, visited Waldenbooks in Roseburg and noted marijuana publications placed in a prominent location behind the counter, surrounded by merchandise marketed to and intended for children or teens.

 “As a parent, grandparent and community member committed to reducing alcohol and other drug abuse, I was concerned that this product placement was sending the wrong message to our kids and may encourage drug use among youth,” said Petersen. The board of directors of Umpqua Partners agreed.

On June 4, a letter from the board of directors of Umpqua Partners was sent to Borders Group, Inc. asking that they voluntarily establish and communicate to their franchise affiliates a policy prohibiting placement of publications that may promote drug use near products that are marketed to and intended for children and teens.

Borders Group, Inc. and Roseburg franchise affiliate, Waldenbooks responded swiftly. In a letter to Umpqua Partners dated June 17 and received June 24, Chris Nichols, Customer Services Director for Borders, states “We take our role as a member of the local community very seriously, and when a concern is brought to our attention we address these matters with a great sense of urgency.”

Marijuana publications in the Roseburg store have been moved to appropriate shelf locations away from products intended for children or teens.

Umpqua Partners works to reduce and prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse in Douglas County, especially among our youth. “Kids are especially vulnerable to the influence of their environment and what they see. Everyone in the community has a role in keeping our kids safe and drug-free,” said Patti LaFreniere, Executive Director of Umpqua Partners. “We commend Borders for policy that clearly demonstrates their commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles and drug-free communities and Roseburg’s Waldenbooks store for taking positive action by moving the identified merchandise to comply with corporate guidelines,” said LaFreniere.

It is reassuring to know our kids will not be exposed to images that may promote drug use when they visit a Borders Group bookstore.
For additional information on how you can help reduce and prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse in Douglas County call Umpqua Partners at 541-672-5905 or via e-mail at info@updrugfree.org.

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