Blackout Wednesday: A Deadly Tradition

You may or may not be aware that today, Wednesday, November 21, 2018, will mark a boom in bar business around the greater Columbia area. Blackout Wednesday or “Drinksgiving” is the biggest bar night of the year according to an article written in Business Insider in 2017 by columnist Mike Shield.

In the article, he describes a cultural phenomenon that bar owners are embracing, tapping into and expanding the explosive market. Some drinking establishments in the article reported a 400 percent increase in sales over a normal Wednesday. And it just so happens that this drinking holiday coincides with one of the busiest travel evenings of the year.

Triple AAA is reporting more than 54 million Americans will be traveling this year for Thanksgiving. That is a 4.8 percent increase from the previous year. All of this travel along with the mass celebration can make for a deadly combination.

Emergency 911 Scene

According to an Article published by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), between 2012 to 2016 there were more than 800 drunk driving fatalities reported over the Thanksgiving weekend, making it the deadliest holiday on our roads. That reporting was from 6 p.m. Wednesday to 5:59 a.m. Monday, the week of Thanksgiving. The EHS daily (environment, health, and safety) reports that the National Safety Council estimates 433 people may be killed and another 49,400 may be seriously injured in car crashes during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Law enforcement all over the country are ramping up the police presence in anticipation of drivers under the influence.

The takeaway from this post is to be responsible. To help ensure safer travels for yourself and others this holiday weekend consider the following:

1. Avoid drinking and driving. If you plan to drink, be sure to prepare a safe alternative method of transportation like Uber or Lyft, or designate a sober driver.

2. If possible, travel early on Wednesday and leave later on Monday.

3. Talk to your loved ones about responsible holiday preparation and safe travels.

We are all responsible for ensuring that our roadways are safe for the holidays. As we take time for the holiday season, let’s make safety a priority for our families.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!


Shields, Mike. (2017, November 22). Wednesday is 'Drinksgiving' -- One of the booziest days of the year -- and bars are bracing for it.

MADD. (2017, November 22). Danger Oncoming: Blackout Wednesday day of increased drunk driving.

Contributing Editor. (2018, November 19). Thanksgiving Holiday Brings Road Dangers.

Hall, Julie. (2018, November 8). AAA: More Than 54 Million Americans to Travel this Thanksgiving, the Most Since 2005.

RX Take back day is coming to a Location Near You!

Saturday October 27th 2018 is National Take Back day! It is a safe and responsible way of disposing of unused and expired prescription drugs.

This day was established by the United States Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration to address a massive public health issue.

6.2 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs according to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. In that same study, it was found that most of the abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, reported by the DEA website.

In light of the National Opioid Crisis, this is particularly disturbing information as prescription opioids can become highly addictive. According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2017 doctors wrote almost 58 opioid prescriptions for every 100 Americans. And even though the prescription rate of opioids has been declining since 2012, there is still an abundance of unused prescription drugs piling up in our medicine cabinets.

But wait! Before you dump those pills down the toilet. Both the European Union and the Environmental Protection Agency have found, along with environmental scientists around the world, that our waterways are already polluted with over-the-counter and prescription drug waste. According to an article published by The Guardian, in the European Geosciences Union conference in Vienna, scientists stated that the amount of pharmaceutical pollution in our waterways could increase by two-thirds by 2050.

What can we do? 

We can help in our own community. There is a convenient way to responsibly, and legally, dispose of those old prescription pills cluttering your cabinets and presenting potential hazards to your family. Bring them for  RX Take Back day! Check out the flyer below for a location near you.

Flyer for Take Back


9th Annual Meeting Recap


We had a wonderful time at the Annual Meeting last week! We discussed events from the past year, reviewed successes, shared information about future events, learned about survey data from our schools, engaged in thought provoking conversation, awarded some outstanding RAI members, ate delicious food, and found out how we can help each other to meet the needs of our community.

Congratulations to Our Winners!







The Key Stakeholder Award goes to Midlands Fatherhood Coalition!
The Dedication Award goes to Susan Pipkin!
The Annual Olga Ogoussan Award goes to David Myers!

Thank you all so much for what you have done for Rise Above It!IMG_0416

We have a New Plans and a New Look!

As the New Coordinator for the coalition, Laura has decided to make joining the SIC’s at each of the schools one of her priorities. She is hoping to gain more participation from the police departments, businesses, and faith-based organizations within the Lexington Two Community. She wants Rise Above It to have a bigger presence in the community.

The Communications Assistant, Gerard, will be launching our new social media account on Instagram. Be on the look out for that announcement.

With all of that in mind we have a new flyer!

New flyer RAI 2018

If you couldn’t attend this time, don’t worry!The next coalition meeting is on Wednesday, November 7th at 4 PM! See you then!

Rise Above It on FOX 57

It is football season again! And Rise Above it is gearing up for the season with WACH FOX. Rise Above It Lexington Two Community Coalition has sponsored The Friday Night Rivals Coach’s Corner on FOX 57!

Sonic Friday Night Rivals places high school football games from around the midlands on prime time television bringing the excitement to the whole midlands community. Live commentary is provided during the games, just like college and NFL football. The coach’s corner pep talk interview is a short segment interview with the coach of each team discussing how the coach gets his players motivated to win the game.

As sponsors of the Coaches Corner, Rise Above It will be showing the Not My Kid commercials on FOX 57 during the Friday Night Rivals game coverage. You can catch the commercial at the beginning and ending of the half-time break for every Friday Night Rivals Game. Not my Kid is a program that helps to prepare young students to make positive choices. For more information about Not My Kid, click on the not my kid tab under the initiatives drop down menu on our website,

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, outdoor


Keep an eye out for Rise Above it on FOX 57! You can stream Friday Night Rivals Coaches Corner on or using the WACH FOX app. Coverage for the games will start at 7:30pm Fridays on WACH 57.2. Games can be seen over the air on channel 57.2, as well as on Cable channel 1250.


LexTwo fundraiser flyer (3)

Above It is proud to announce that we will be sponsoring Laurie Dhue, an award winning national news anchor and activist for the recovery movement, as the keynote speaker for the LRADAC 40th Anniversary Celebration! This fundraising breakfast banquet will be held at Brookland Banquet and Conference Center, 1066 Sunset Blvd. in West Columbia, on September 26th from 7:30 to 10:00 am. All proceeds from the banquet will directly impact the LRADAC Foundation Recovery Scholarship Fund.


If her name sounds familiar, it is probably because you watched cable news during the early 2000s. Laurie Dhue was a regular cable news anchor on major television networks like Fox, CNN, and MSNBC.  In 2011 at the Obama’s Prayer Breakfast, Dhue spoke about the role of faith in her recovery from alcohol addiction. Since then, she has been an outspoken champion of addiction recovery, being candid about her own battle with addiction. She is now a Certified Recovery Specialist, recovery activist, and public speaker.


Rise Above It recognizes the impact of openness on the public perception of addiction. We understand that substance abuse spans all demographics and many in our own community. We hope that promoting openness about these experiences will help to prevent future drug abuse.


To find more information about this event or purchase tickets visit the LRADAC website.

Rise Above It takes Washington D.C.!

Representatives from Rise Above It: Lexington Two Community Coalition (RAI) and LRADAC are in the Washington, D.C., area with approximately 3,000 other substance abuse prevention specialists and advocates from around the country for CADCA’s (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s) 28th Annual National Leadership Forum.


“We are excited to take part in the learning, networking and information sharing opportunities afforded through our participation in CADCA’s 28th National Leadership Forum and SAMHSA’s 14th Prevention Day,” said Shauna Cooper, LRADAC Director of Community Services. “We are getting first-hand information from implementers of innovative and effective programming to address substance use prevention that we are looking forward to taking back to our community and putting into practice.”

CADCA’s Forum will cover a wide range of topics – everything from how to prevent prescription drug abuse and the abuse of synthetic drugs and marijuana to how to create tobacco-free environments and develop policies to reduce underage drinking.

The coalition representatives will hear from several leaders including Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Richard Baum and Dr. Bertha Madras, Harvard Medical School, who will both bring their expertise and insights to share. RAI and LRADAC representatives will also meet with U.S. representatives and senators at the Forum’s Capitol Hill Day event on Wednesday, Feb. 7.

CADCA’s National Leadership Forum, the nation’s largest training event for community prevention leaders, treatment professionals and researchers, will take place at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center Feb. 5-8. Visit the Forum website for details about training sessions, speakers, and special events at