SAFE Project, a nonprofit committed to overcoming the addiction epidemic in the US, announces the launch of the song It Ain’t 5 O’clock Somewhere to combat pro-drinking messages in country music and encourage listeners to drink in moderation.
Jan. 22, 2024 — Starting today and beyond Dry January, country music listeners will have a new song playing on radio stations promoting healthy, responsible drinking habits rather than the industry’s often all too obsessed alcohol fixation. With 40% of popular country songs mentioning alcohol, which can encourage listeners to drink, SAFE Project set out to create a country music song encouraging people not to.
As part of their Sensible Strumming campaign (sensiblestrumming.com), SAFE Project (safeproject.us) partnered with OHG’s Purpose Group and previous top 5 finalist on NBC’s The Voice Ryan Whyte Maloney to create It Ain’t 5 O’clock Somewhere. The song challenges the glorification of drinking alcohol in country music, while the campaign urges responsible drinking all year long and prompts a critical look at the genre’s prevailing culture.
A sobering fact: 1 out of 3 songs that mention alcohol are country music based and many celebrate and normalize getting drunk on beer and whiskey—endorsing the idea of “drowning your troubles/sorrows.” These songs can act as triggers for addiction, glorify drinking, and can create a stigma around getting help particularly for country music fans who participate in binge-drinking and/or experience alcoholism. “Excessive drinking should not be normalized. Let’s normalize moderation or even not drinking at all. There is no shame in asking for help or in talking about addiction,” said Leslie Plaia, Executive Director, Substance Use and Behavioral Health at SAFE Project.
The campaign is hoping to create awareness and change. “We are a network with a platform to create change. Dry January has had a massive uptake. But having a plan for the other 11-months is worth talking about; too many people are struggling over the rest of the year. The song is about moderation and transformation, and it can provide hope and connection for someone who is trying to change,” says Matt McNally, CEO of Omnicom Health Group (OHG).
Despite being lively tunes, these songs can overlook the grim realities of heavy drinking: health risks such as liver disease, shattered dreams, and societal problems like drunk driving. Dina Peck, Chief Creative Officer of OHG’s Purpose Group, said, “Addiction is a healthcare issue. We take heart attacks and cancer seriously. We should be just as vigilant about addiction.”
The song’s creators hope that the song will promote healthy drinking habits and provide an alternative song for country music fans who suffer from binge-drinking and alcoholism or who just want to cut down on their drinking. SAFE Project wants more people with addiction to take the No Shame Pledge and get help. There is no shame in getting help or in talking about mental health and addiction.
About SAFE Project
SAFE Project is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to overcoming the addiction epidemic in the United States. Established in 2017 by Admiral James and Mary Winnefeld after the tragic loss of their 19-year-old son Jonathan due to an opioid overdose, SAFE Project aims to save lives impacted by substance use, including alcohol, and mental health challenges through overdose prevention and response, education on stigma, and development of prevention and recovery programs. SAFE Project also provides tailored guidance and training within its four key initiatives: SAFE Campuses, SAFE Communities, SAFE Workplaces, and SAFE Veterans. To learn more, please visit safeproject.us.
About OHG’s Purpose Group
OHG’s Purpose Group believes all great brands are built on purpose. The Purpose Group is comprised of Patients & Purpose, Science & Purpose, and CDM NY and is an expanding group of agencies that are part of Omnicom Health Group (www.omnicomhealthgroup.com)—a global collective of communications companies with more than 5,000 dedicated healthcare communications specialists. OHG provides marketing services to the health and life-science industries and is powered by Omni Health, the first and only end-to-end data platform designed for the specific requirements of healthcare clients.