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George Mason University Vision Lecture Series April 30, 2007 LEGACY OF LIFE: CREATING HEALTHY FUTURES.

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Presentation on theme: "George Mason University Vision Lecture Series April 30, 2007 LEGACY OF LIFE: CREATING HEALTHY FUTURES."— Presentation transcript:

1 George Mason University Vision Lecture Series April 30, 2007 LEGACY OF LIFE: CREATING HEALTHY FUTURES

2 Obesity: An Obvious Issue Obesity is one of many health issues that is obvious. A dramatic illustration of the growth of obesity in the United States is found with year-by-year documentation of the extent of obesity in each state. The slides show the percent of the population in each state that is obese. The growth of obesity is continuous and large, with marked changes found each year. For the full set of slides, go to

3 1995 Obesity Trends* Among U.S. Adults BRFSS, 1990, 1995, 2005 (*BMI 30, or about 30 lbs overweight for 5’4” person) <10% 10%–14% 15%–19% 20%–24% 25%–29% ≥30%

4 Drug and Alcohol Abuse: A More Hidden Issue Drug and alcohol abuse is well-documented, although the nature and scope of the associated problems are not as obvious. Many youth and young adults use drugs and/or alcohol on a regular and irregular basis. One major concern is the extent of drug/alcohol use among very young youth. Another major concern is with the lack of reduction of heavy drinking among college students. Research findings are found with the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (see ncadi.samhsa.gov/).ncadi.samhsa.gov

5 Alcohol is the Substance of Choice Among Adolescents Source: Monitoring the Future, 2003

6 Youth drink less frequently than adults, but drink more per occasion Source: SAMHSA National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002 (12-17)(26 and older)

7 Perspectives College Student Drinking Patterns Monitoring the Future

8 Drug and Alcohol Abuse: Collegiate Needs The nature of alcohol-related problems on college campuses is well-documented. These findings demonstrate that alcohol is involved with a wide variety of campus problems, from property damage and personal injury to emotional difficulty and student attrition. Of major concern is that the extent of alcohol involvement has not changed significantly over the past two decades. Further detail about the nature of campus problems is found with the College Alcohol Survey results (www.caph.gmu.edu); the U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Center on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention has further documentation and resources (www.edc.org/hec).www.caph.gmu.eduwww.edc.org/hec

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13 Drug and Alcohol Abuse: Collegiate Strategies Strategies to address alcohol abuse on college campuses are based primarily upon the need for a comprehensive approach; this includes policies, programs, services, training, staffing, evaluation and more. Noteworthy is the fact that whether or not alcohol is permitted on college campuses has not changed in 25 years; what has changed are the conditions surrounding its use. Further information about campus-based data is found with the College Alcohol Survey (www.caph.gmu.edu). Resources for preparing a comprehensive campus program are found with Promising Practices: Campus Alcohol Strategies (www.promprac.gmu.edu) as well as with the U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention (www.edc.org/hec).www.caph.gmu.eduwww.promprac.gmu.eduwww.edc.org/hec

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17 Annual Funding For Alcohol/Substance Abuse In 2006 = 56.91% of Wellness Funding Wellness Funding = $ 38,319

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22 PROMISING PRACTICES: CAMPUS ALCOHOL STRATEGIES A variety of resources have been developed to assist college and university leaders in their efforts to implement comprehensive efforts on their campuses. The Sourcebook includes programs of excellence; the Action Planner outlines eight steps for strategic planning. The Task Force Planner provides an overall framework.

23 Policies & Implementation Curriculum Awareness & Information Support & Intervention Enforcement Assessment & Evaluation Training Staffing & Resources Components

24 Groups Campus Leadership Coordinator Health and Counseling Student Life Police and Security Faculty Residence Life Student Government Student Groups Community

25 Institutionalize Coordinate Articulate and Market Prioritize Action Clarify Needs and Assess Resources Set Vision and Goals Determine Guiding Principles Establish a Task Force Action Planner: Steps for Developing A Comprehensive Campus Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program

26 Drug and Alcohol Abuse: High School Efforts High schools are an important part of a community’s efforts to address drug, alcohol and tobacco use among youth. The nature and extent of school-based efforts is documented with results from the Virginia Secondary School Substance Abuse Survey. These results demonstrate the limited effort provided to address these health issues in an organized, orchestrated manner. It is important to note that policies, programs and services are also important in the middle and elementary school settings, as well as in the larger community setting. Further details of the Virginia study are found at

27 Instructional Hours on Substance Abuse: Grade 11 Instructional hours per year, among respondents in Virginia public secondary schools, 2006.

28 Instructional Hours on Substance Abuse: Grade 12 Instructional hours per year, among respondents in Virginia public secondary schools, 2006.

29 Changes in last 3 years in Drinking Behavior

30 Changes in last 3 years in use of Tobacco and Drugs

31 Changes in past 3 years in Student Acceptance of Non-Use

32 Drug and Alcohol Abuse: Understanding the Dilemma A range of studies have been prepared to understand why limited changes are found with the use of drugs or alcohol by youth or young adults. Recent efforts are found to address underage drinking, and a substantive study of high-risk drinking among college students was done. These provide insights, yet have limitations inherent in their foundations. Brief insights are found with a “Policy Watch” article, available at Specific reports are found with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (see as well as with the National Academy of Sciences (see

33 The 3-in-1 Framework

34 Life Health Planning Important for reducing the use of drugs or alcohol by youth and young adults is attention to the reasons why they drink or use drugs. If efforts to address the ‘root causes’ of substance abuse are not implemented, it is not surprising to find limited changes in usage patterns. While the variety of strategies in a comprehensive approach are necessary, they are not sufficient. Current strategies, addressing primarily the symptoms of use, should be complemented by those that address the root causes. Root causes of substance abuse were identified during a national ‘think-tank’ process; this resulted in the specification of seven life health themes. The “Percolate Up Model” illustrates the context of current efforts. The Life Health Pyramid promotes the seven life health planning themes, and COMPASS provides specific strategies.

35 The “Percolate Up Model”

36 The Life Health Pyramid OPTIMISM VALUES SELF-CARE RELATIONSHIPS COMMUNITY NATURE SERVICE

37 COMPASS: A Roadmap to Healthy Living ‘brings to life’ the seven life health principles with detailed application of 31 specific life health issues. Each topic has a short essay of key points, a reflection worksheet, a planning worksheet, and links to local and national resources. The CD is distributed to all first-year students at George Mason University, and is reinforced throughout the year with the “Transition Times” e-newsletter. Students are encouraged to engage in discussions and personal planning activities to actualize their own future success.

38 Making Change Change with drug and alcohol abuse is a reasonable expectation; similarly, change with obesity and other health issues are reasonable expectations. Central to substantive change are all three components of the Pyramid of Success: Competence, Confidence, and Commitment. Attention to the root causes of these health issues is central, and the seven life health principles are valuable for these issues as well as for general overall well-being and healthy living. Also helpful are theoretical frameworks, such as the Stages of Change Model and the Health Belief Model. Further assistance can be provided by the establishment of grounded standards and frameworks that draw upon and blend a wide range of guidelines from various perspectives.

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40 LEGACY OF LIFE: Creating Healthy Futures George Mason University Center for the Advancement of Public Health MS 1 F 5 Fairfax, VA For more information about LEGACY OF LIFE: Creating Healthy Futures and a more detailed slide show, visit

41 Prepared by David S. Anderson, Ph.D. Professor of Education and Human Development Director, Center for the Advancement of Public Health George Mason University


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