Community How To Guides On Underage Drinking Prevention Developed
Number 247 May 2001
U.S. Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
400 Seventh Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20590
COMMUNITY HOW TO GUIDES
ON UNDERAGE DRINKING PREVENTION DEVELOPED
Neighborhoods and communities across America are confronting the problem of underage drinking and its consequences. In 1995, the National Association of Governors' Highway Safety Representatives (NAGHSR) launched a pilot project funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Based on the experiences of five communities in developing and implementing comprehensive underage drinking prevention programs, the two organizations have prepared a series of How To booklets to pass on the lessons learned to other communities who want to reduce underage alcohol consumption and curb the terrible toll underage drinking takes on our neighborhoods.
The five NAGHSR pilot sites were Chesterfield County, Virginia; Travis County, Texas; Omaha, Nebraska; Detroit, Michigan; and Salt Lake City, Utah. The first year focused on developing broad-based community coalitions and then helping those coalitions conduct extensive needs assessments about the nature, extent, and consequences of underage drinking in their communities. Today, four of the five programs continue to operate.
To build on the success of the demonstration projects, NAGHSR decided in 1998 to pilot test another approach to help communities work to prevent underage drinking. The revised concept involved intense, short-term assistance by a team of nationally recognized experts. The Rapid Response Team gave each site a jump start in developing or strengthening comprehensive, needs-based underage drinking prevention programs.
Six communities participated in this second pilot: Rio Arriba County, New Mexico; Tippecanoe County, Indiana, Oswego County, New York; Hermantown, Minnesota, Lenoir County, North Carolina; and Prince George's County, Maryland. NAGHSR also reviewed underage drinking prevention plans for all 50 states and the District of Columbia and provided training for 48 states and DC for the Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).
The How To Guides on Underage Drinking were developed from these sources of information. The Guides cover the fundamentals of planning and implementing an underage drinking prevention program. There are two goals: prevent harm to the individual drinker and prevent harm to society. Success will be measured, not by good intentions, but by their consequences.
Prevention success may be measured in terms of reducing the number of criminal events (drinking, DWI, date rape), reducing the amount of harm to individuals (injuries, alcohol overdoses, teen pregnancies), and in reducing the harm to society (criminal and juvenile justice costs, medical and addiction treatment expenses).
The Guides include the research behind and the experiences of specific strategies that have proven to be effective in curbing underage drinking and other promising strategies that have not been evaluated yet, but appear to be effective.
The Guides present universal, selective, and indicated prevention strategies in the context of risk and protective factors. The risk and protective factor approach to prevention has become central to prevention planning for many communities and government agencies.
Risk factors are those that may contribute to whether or not an individual uses or abuses alcohol or other drugs. An array of biological, psychological, social, economic and other factors have been identified.
Each of the nine Guides has a resource section for those who want to get more detailed information.
HOW TO ORDER
For a copy of the nine volumes, How to Guides on Underage Drinking (each about 30 pages plus appendices), write to the Media and Marketing Division, NHTSA, NTS-21, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20590, or fax (202) 493-2062, or download from http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov
Traffic Tech is a publication to disseminate information about traffic safety programs, including evaluations, innovative programs, and new publications. Feel free to copy it as you wish.
If you would like to receive a copy contact:
Linda Cosgrove, Ph.D., Editor, Evaluation Staff
UNDERAGE DRINKING PREVENTION