GOT OUTCOMES! Coalition of Excellence Award Winners 2012
Coalition in Focus Award
Liberty Alliance for Youth, Inc. conducted a comprehensive local community assessment using a wide variety of data sources to understand the local conditions contributing to youth alcohol use. Access points for alcohol among youth included parties where adults were providing and retail stores not carding and/or not equipped to recognize false identification. Underage drinkers experienced few consequences for their behavior and there was a need for school curriculum educating youth about the long-term health effects of underage drinking. Interventions implemented to address the issues included educating the community on existing social host and keg registration laws and successfully advocating for policy changes. Retailers in the community now have age verification software and retailers who sell to minors face increased penalties. In addition, a strong partnership with law enforcement resulted in the county prosecutor taking a no-tolerance stance toward adult hosted underage drinking parties and pursuing maximum consequences. Other successes such as increased consequences for alcohol related offenses for students involved in school athletics and area limo companies agreeing to terminate services for youth in possession of alcohol or other drugs send the message that underage drinking is not acceptable. Today, fewer retailers in Liberty sell to minors (31 percent in 2006; 8 percent in 2011) and fewer students report that if they drank alcohol in their neighborhood they would not be caught by police (77 percent in 2006; 61 percent in 2012). In addition, fewer adults believe it is okay to provide alcohol to minors (10 percent in 2007 to 7 percent in 2012) and underage drinking in the Liberty school district has declined with fewer youth drinking in the past 30 days (27 percent in 2006; 12 percent in 2012) and binge drinking (11 percent in 2006; 6 percent in 2012). VIEW VIDEO
When student surveys revealed that between 90 percent (9th graders) and 98 percent (12th graders) of high school students felt that alcohol was easy or very easy to obtain, Hunterdon County Safe Communities Coalition dug deeper to understand the local conditions contributing to the issue by conducting teen focus groups, key informant interviews and utilizing other local data sources. While drinking most commonly occurred at home or at a friend’s home without parental knowledge, a significant number of youth reported that their parents are aware when they drink at home. In addition, while young people typically accessed alcohol from friends over the age of 21, some youth reported that their parents provided the alcohol. Based on these local conditions, the coalition implemented a comprehensive set of strategies that included successfully advocating for the enactment of local ordinances in the county that impose fines and driver license suspensions for youth who possess or consume alcohol on private property without parental presence or consent. The coalition also implemented a sticker shock campaign to educate parents and adults about the existing social host laws. Their combined efforts contributed to a decrease in the number of youth reporting alcohol is “fairly easy” or “very easy” to obtain among all grades. Surveys also show that fewer youth are drinking at home without parental knowledge with 10th graders reporting 31 percent in 2007 and 27 percent in 2011 and 12th graders reporting 47 percent in 2007 and 35 percent in 2011. Underage drinking at home with parental knowledge has also decreased and more young people report it is harmful to “get drunk”. New survey data show that past 30-day alcohol use among youth is also on the decline and the coalition expects to sustain these results in the years ahead. VIEW VIDEO
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The Call for Presentations is open to all community coalitions, community-based prevention organizations, government agencies with a focus on substance misuse, mental health, crimi...