GOT OUTCOMES! Award Winners 2014

Coalition of the Year Award

The Coalition for a Drug-Free Muskegon County is nestled along the Lake Michigan shoreline, and serves 172,188 people residing within 499 square miles. Coalition of the Year awardees must show measurable outcomes in more than one substance. Drug-Free Muskegon County is recognized as the 2014 Coalition of the Year for its efforts in reducing both underage drinking and youth smoking. A local assessment based on focus group results and multiple survey inputs uncovered that too many youths in Muskegon County used alcohol and smoked. Alcohol and cigarettes were easily accessible by youth. Several conditions led to youth using alcohol in Muskegon County. Retailers were willing to sell to minors and adults were willing to purchase alcohol for minors. Also, many parents did not feel it was wrong for their underage kids to drink alcohol. For the other problem behavior being addressed by the coalition, several conditions led to youth using cigarettes. Retailers were willing to sell to youth. Youth obtained cigarettes from peers. Adult smoking was widely prevalent in Muskegon County, particularly in public spaces like restaurants.

The coalition’s assessment and problem analysis guided the implementation of a comprehensive set of strategies to address each issue. To address underage drinking, the coalition advocated for maintaining the current state level protections regarding alcohol sales as stated in Michigan’s three tier system, and passed local ordinances that strengthen Special License policy language which allows nonprofit organizations to sell alcohol for on premise consumption. Educating the community about underage drinking and the policy changes was an important aspect of this work. Every year, coalition members facilitate training for 280 alcohol retailers on alcohol beverage issues and compliance. Students (high school and college) and parents are taught about the laws and associated legal consequences of underage drinking and providing to youth. Parents also learn communication skills needed for talking to youth about drinking. Policy change is also a focus of their tobacco prevention work. The coalition played a significant role in the passing of the Clean Indoor Air Act of Muskegon County and smoke-free policies on two local college campuses.

As a result, fewer retailers sell alcohol to minors and fewer youth believe that their peers are drinking. Youth report that alcohol is harder to get and recent alcohol use and binge drinking declined by 38% and 47% respectively between 2008 and 2014. Their tobacco efforts included playing a leading role in the passing of the Clean Indoor Air Act of Muskegon County, smoke-free policies on two college campuses and implementing a smoke-free restaurants initiative that increased those participating  from 6 to 204 over 5 years. Today, 23% fewer youth believe tobacco is easy to get and 39% fewer youth report recent tobacco use between 2008 and 2014. VIEW VIDEO

Coalition in Focus Award: The BAY Team – Barrington’s Prevention Coalition

The Barrington Adult/Youth Team, or BAY Team for short, is located in Bristol County, Rhode Island and serves 16,455 people residing in Barrington. The coalition is recognized as the 2014 Coalition in Focus for its efforts in reducing underage drinking. The coalition’s evaluation data consisted of student, parent and faculty listening group results and law enforcement surveys. Their analysis uncovered that too many youths in Barrington used alcohol. Alcohol was easily accessible by youth and youth viewed drinking alcohol as normal behavior for high school students. Several conditions led to youth using alcohol in Barrington. Store clerks were not checking IDs of all young looking customers. Parents were allowing youth to drink at their homes because they thought teens were safer at home. Youth drank at bars/clubs with parent permission because of confusion over RI law which allows minors to drink at home for religious purposes.
The coalition employed a set of individual and environmental strategies to address youth underage drinking. Examples of specific work included providing liquor license recipients with national data and resources on best practices for retail alcohol sales. They videotaped trainings to allow newly hired staff to view prior to serving and selling alcohol in town. The Police and Policy Committee expanded compliance checks from one to three times per year and checked training certifications. Staff, youth, parents, and police worked with the Town Council to create a list of preferred practices for liquor stores. They also helped pass a local ordinance mandating annual training of all liquor servers, sellers, management, and owners.

As a result of their efforts, the coalition proudly reported a significant shift in the inaccurate perception among youth that most of their peers drink. In addition, between 2009 and 2013 youth ease of access to alcohol decreased by 36% and past 30-day alcohol use decreased by 30% for high school students and 50% for middle school students between 2007 and 2013. VIEW VIDEO


Milestones Award: Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention of Anderson County, Inc.

The Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) of Anderson County is located in Clinton and serves 75,000 people residing in Anderson County, Tennessee. The coalition received the 2014 Milestones Award for its efforts in reducing underage drinking. This award recognizes younger coalitions, or those with a newer initiatives, that have reached short-term and intermediate outcomes on the way to long-term change.

The coalition conducted key informant interviews, focus groups, community scans and various surveys and uncovered that too many youths in Anderson County used alcohol. Alcohol was easily accessible by youth and those youth had low perceptions of risk. Several conditions led to youth using alcohol in Anderson County. Store clerks were selling alcohol to underage youth at off premise retail establishments. Parents hosted parties where alcohol was available to friends of their children.

Adolescents saw their peers using alcohol at school and school events. Moreover, youth were bombarded with alcohol advertising in local stores.

The coalition’s efforts to address problem behavior involved training for store clerks, certification classes to increase compliance with underage drinking laws, increased compliance to underage drinking laws through a designated task force, and distributing materials to notify shoppers of identification requirements. The coalition’s combined efforts led to a 36% increase in alcohol outlet compliance, a 29% decrease in the number of youth reporting alcohol use at a friend’s home, a 40% decrease in the number of youth being drunk or high at school and a 78% decrease in the number of alcohol-related school discipline events. Recent surveys indicate that in just a couple of years, youth past 30-day use of alcohol has also decreased significantly and the coalition expects to sustain this long-term outcome. VIEW VIDEO