Clay County Youth Prevention Coalition Briefing on Youth and Alcohol
Two Days. 49 States. 350+ Briefings. One Message: Take It Back Our group is a part of history today. For the first time ever, more than 350 youth groups from 49 states across the country are holding Community Briefings to focus on the single most important health issue facing young people today – alcohol.
Our Briefing is sponsored by Take It Back - a national, youth-directed movement to reduce alcohol problems. Take It Back is not an organization, a program or a group – it’s a dynamic movement that’s focused on research and action.
Our coalition has chosen to be part of this national movement to focus attention on the youth and alcohol problems in our communities.
The Impact of Alcohol Alcohol is the primary contributor to the leading causes of adolescent death in the United States; car crashes, accidents and suicide. Source: NIAAA, 2003
Alcohol Consumption Between 12 and 20% of all alcohol consumed in the United States is used by people under the age of 21. Source: Foster et el., 2003
Age of First Use Matters Over 95% of the adults in the United States who are alcohol-dependent started drinking before they were 21 years of age. Source: SAMSHA, 2004
Youth & Alcohol in Clay County Around 90% of students in grades 6, 9 and 12 have not engaged in binge drinking on ten or more occasions in the year prior to completing the survey. 86% of 6 th graders and 58% of 9 th graders report no alcohol or other drug use in the past year.
Good news Between 80% and more than 90% of 6 th graders and 9 th graders reported that their close friends would disapprove or strongly disapprove of binge drinking, smoking marijuana or using other drugs once or twice a week. BUT disapproval rates for alcohol use fall for seniors
Challenges – binge drinking 34% of 12 th grade males reported drinking 5 or more drinks in a row at least once in the two weeks prior to completing the survey. 4% of them binge drank six or more times. 23% of 12th grade females engaged in binge drinking at least once during that period.
Challenges – access 75% of 12 th grade girls and 9 th grade boys reported getting alcohol from friends. Two thirds of 12 th grade boys and 9 th grade girls got it from friends. 12% of 9 th grade boys who reported buying alcohol in the 30-day period did so with a fake ID.
Challenges –riding/driving 38% of 12 th grade boys and 33% of 12 th grade girls reported riding rarely or often in the past year with friends who have been using alcohol or drugs. Figures are 22% for 9 th grade boys and 18% for 9 th grade girls. 32% of 12th grade boys and 19% of 12th grade girls reported driving at least once in the past year after using alcohol or drugs.
What We’re Going To Do: Key Messages Create community and county-wide prevention programs and activities Lead by example by demonstrating a commitment to be chemical free (SADD) Encourage parents to have their children become involved in leadership organizations in their school and community Message to Parents: Set high standards which are reflected in your own choices and behavior. Be diligent and knowledgeable about what your child is doing
What Adults Can Do: Refrain from providing alcohol to kids Don’t stock the refrigerator (in the kitchen or garage) with alcohol Try to make alcohol use seem less casual Open your eyes to what’s going on around you Talk to kids about alcohol use Discipline your children - set boundaries and enforce consequences Teachers do the same in school
What Other Youth Can Do: Stop drinking and influence your friends to do the same Educate others about the consequences of alcohol use Let adults know that all kids don’t drink Provide adults with facts (like where kids are getting alcohol, at home, for example) Promote activities with your friends that don’t involve drinking Be a good example for younger kids
Conclusion Underage drinking is a national problem. We have come together to present a united front to our communities in changing the culture around alcohol. We have identified many things that adults and youth can do starting right now to make change happen.