May 14, 2015

Mid-Year Spotlight: Preventing Underage Drinking Major Topic at CADCA Mid-Year

Alcohol continues to be the number one substance of choice among young people and many communities are looking for ways to address this problem. That’s why reducing underage drinking will be a major topic addressed at CADCA’s 2015 Mid-Year Training Institute this summer.

During a session entitled, “Alcohol Marketing and Youth: How Do We Go Forward,” alcohol policy researcher Dr. David Jernigan will discuss how alcohol marketing influences teen drinking. He will review the latest evidence on the relationship between exposure to alcohol marketing and youth drinking behavior, including findings from long-term studies of young people, research on youth brand choices and drinking, youth cultural exposure (such as movies or popular music), as well as recent work on the effects of digital and social media on underage drinking. The second half of the session will address how community and state leaders can use the wide body of research on this topic to take action.

“The evidence is growing that alcohol marketing affects youth drinking behavior, but most communities are at a loss about what can be done – partly because marketing is so ubiquitous, we are literally surrounded by opportunities to do something about it. And young people themselves are often the most effective advocates for change,” said Dr. Jernigan, Associate Professor in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society, and Director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

During another session called “Implementing Environmental Strategies to Reduce Underage Drinking: How Do We Do What the Research Base Says Is Most Effective?, Dr. Jernigan will explore evidence-based environmental strategies around what the World Health Organization has termed the “best buys” for reducing alcohol problems: policies related to the physical availability of alcohol, cost of alcohol, and alcohol marketing. The small, hands-on session will group people into the three policy arenas, and help them identify and brainstorm how to address barriers, in terms of stages in an implementation effort, messaging, enforcement and evaluation.

“The most effective strategies for reducing underage drinking are also often the most difficult to implement. The hope for this session is that with more specific problem-solving assistance coalitions can overcome barriers in their way of translating the research evidence into action for safer and healthier communities,” Dr. Jernigan said.

In addition, there will be several courses on impaired driving, binge drinking and excessive alcohol use. Visit the Mid-Year website to learn more about the courses offered at the 2015 Mid-Year Training Institute. Course descriptions are now available and more will be added in the coming days so check the website often!

CADCA’s Mid-Year Training Institute, held Aug. 2-6 in Indianapolis, is a unique, intensive training opportunity offering half-day and two-day courses to expand your knowledge in prevention science and improve your skills in implementing evidence-based strategies. More than 1,700 attendees are expected for this one-of-a-kind, coalition-specific training opportunity.

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