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Chapter 6
Working with the Community
and Statewide Coalitions

 

Introduction

Efforts to reduce alcohol-related problems at the local and state level are often guided by a coalition of stakeholders who contribute many resources and approaches. Local coalitions may be organized within a neighborhood, school district and/or specific governmental jurisdiction such as a town, borough, or county. At the state level these coalitions generally include agencies, professional associations and other organizations that have statewide influence. These coalitions may focus on a specific issue such as underage drinking, dangerous college drinking, fetal alcohol syndrome, or drunk driving. These coalitions could also be a subgroup of a larger alcohol, substance abuse, or health and safety coalition/task force.

ABCs have become increasingly important members of coalitions. The expertise contained in the regulatory, enforcement and education components of the ABC can be invaluable to a coalition’s efforts and credibility. In several states, ABCs spearhead coalitions that target various alcohol related issues. ABC’s efforts can be more effective when partnerships are formed at both the local and state level to regulate beverage alcohol.

ABCs in several states have organized statewide coalitions and provided grant resources to local and state organizations to help reduce alcohol-related problems. Many local and state organizations including the Departments of Health and Transportation, substance abuse offices, police departments and citizen groups are forming partnerships with ABCs to create environmental change to prevent alcohol-related problems.

A number of organizations have valuable resources available to help coalitions get organized and focus on specific goals.

The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) is a national organization of coalitions dedicated to substance abuse prevention. CADCA offers training and resource materials, including a set of “Strategizers” for coalitions.

The Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center facilitates the delivery of training and technical assistance via the Internet for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws initiative. Their web site is designed to provide information to help states and communities create effective solutions to the underage drinking problem. Their resources can be obtained by contacting the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE).

The National Association of Governors’ Highway Safety Representatives (NAGHSR) is a professional organization representing the chief highway safety officers from each state, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories. NAGHSR is committed to prevent and reduce illegal underage alcohol consumption and to curb the terrible toll underage drinking takes on our society. As a result of their commitment to underage drinking issues and to assist cities, counties and neighborhoods, NAGHSR, with financial assistance from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), developed a series of “Community How To Guides.”

These guides address fundamental components of planning and implementing a comprehensive underage drinking prevention program. The Guides are designed to be brief, easy-to-read and easy-to-use. Each guide contains a resource section to assist readers in obtaining additional and detailed information about the topics covered in that guide. The appendices include useful tools for each topic area that provide coalitions and organizations a jump-start in their planning and implementation activities. The how to guides can be viewed at: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/alcohol/Community Guides HTML/Guides_index.html 

Another initiative sponsored by NHTSA is the Safe Communities Service Center. The Center monitors and tracks activities being conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation and NHTSA, as well as other federal, state and local partners. The Center also catalogs information, resources and materials to community coalitions directly to providers who can service their specific needs. The Center is continually identifying a national network of Safe Community practitioners, marketing best practices, facilitating new partnerships, promoting citizen involvement, evaluating campaign progress and initiating a number of other handy and helpful ways to build Safe Communities. The Center’s web site address is: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/safecommunities/servicecenter 

Safe Communities Logo

Resources:

(Contact Information, see Appendix A)

 

Award Mini-Grants for 
Community Prevention Efforts

Target Population:

Prevention groups, general public.

Goals:

Description:

An ABC can provide funds in the form of mini-grants to be used to develop and/or implement efforts targeted at reducing alcohol-related problems in the community. The mini-grants may be awarded to community groups, including schools, non-profit organizations, local government, etc. The awarding of funds is publicized to create awareness of local activities and the involvement of the ABC. (See CD-ROM – Appendix Q)

Action Steps:

 

Establish a Statewide Coalition 
to Reduce High Risk and Underage Drinking 
Among College Students 

Target Population:

College students.

Goals:

Description:

A coalition may be comprised of representatives from state government, state organizations and colleges and universities. The mission of the coalition is to create a safe, healthy environment for college students. The coalition focuses on environmental initiatives and actions that can be taken to support local and regional efforts.

Action Steps:

Resources:

(Contact Information, see Appendix A)

 

Establish a Statewide Coalition to 
Reduce Underage Drinking

Target Population:

Under 21 youth.

Goals:

  • Reduce underage drinking.
  • Create a healthy alcohol-free environment for youth.
  • Change the social environment by influencing societal views on the issue of alcohol and youth.
  • Increase awareness and provide education on implementing policies that reduce youth access to alcohol.
  • Provide effective information on underage drinking.
  • Nurture youth leadership.
Pennsylvanians Against Underage Drinking Logo

Description:

The development of a statewide coalition to prevent underage drinking can provide important state leadership and action to impact this issue. The state coalition may be comprised of state agencies, statewide organizations and individuals dedicated to this mission. The state coalition is an important conduit to change the public’s perception of underage drinking through media advocacy and by promoting appropriate policy change and enactment. Statewide coalitions should also provide support to local and regional coalitions on efforts to reduce underage drinking. In Pennsylvania the project was funded by the American Medical Association through a grant entitled “Reducing Underage Drinking Through Coalitions: Youth and Adults United for Change” and is called Pennsylvanians Against Underage Drinking (PAUD). (See CD-ROM – Appendix R)

Action Steps:

Resources

(Contact Information, see Appendix A)

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