Friday, July 31, 2009

Eckstein drug/alcohol counselor position open

The position of Prevention Intervention Specialist (PI) in northeast Seattle is open and posted online. The position is funded through the SPF-SIG grant that funds the Prevention WINS coalition and is based out of Eckstein Middle School. The person in this job also works at Nathan Hale and Roosevelt High Schools. A PI position is also open for Madison Middle School.

Scare tactics are not prevention strategies

Many studies have been done on the effectiveness of drug prevention strategies. According to these studies, the following have been shown to be largely ineffective for reducing substance abuse:

-- information dissemination approaches which teach primarily about drugs and their effects;

-- fear arousal approaches that emphasize the risks associated with drug use, such as mock car crashes;

-- moral appeal approaches which teach youth about the evils of use;

-- affective education programs which focus on building self-esteem, responsible decision-making, and interpersonal growth.

When planning for prevention programs, the following links provide guidance about what does work:

Principles of Effective Substance Abuse Prevention;

Sixteen Prevention Principles.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Social norms marketing

In the July coalition newsletter, the main article is about social norms.

Some coalitions are doing social norms marketing campaigns in their communities. These campaigns use a product marketing strategy that creates an association between the product and something that the consumer wants. For example, here is a beer ad that has nothing to do with beer and more to do with what the beer company thinks their target audience wants. (Image thanks to the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth.)
Social marketing campaigns with a prevention message use images of what their target audience wants. For example, the poster below shows a parent and a child communicating with one another. It is meant to elicit the natural protective, loving feelings parents have toward their children and associate that with the "Most of Us" campaign. Its message is positive and reinforces the community norm: most parents talk to their kids.

Autumn general meetings

During the 2009-10 school-year, the Prevention WINS coalition's general meetings will be held the third Thursday of the month with times alternating between early morning and late afternoon. This fall, coalition meetings will be held:

September 7, 7:30 a.m.
October 15, 4:30 p.m.
November 19, 7:30 a.m.
December 17, 4:30 p.m.

Meetings will continue to be held at Eckstein Middle School and are open to the community.

During the meetings this fall, the coalition will work together to determine what new strategies we want to implement to address our specific community needs if we are awarded a Drug Free Communities grant in 2010. Be a part of planning for the future and plan to attend the meetings!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Prevention benefits outweigh costs

The cost of substance abuse could be offset by a nationwide implementation of effective prevention policies and programs, according to Substance Abuse Prevention Dollars and Cents: A Cost-Benefit Analysis published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The report includes information about the benefits reaped by implementing programs such as Guiding Good Choices for parents and Life Skills Training for students, both of which are being implemented by the Prevention WINS coalition. It also shows that environmental strategies such as alcohol taxes, 21 minimum legal drinking age, and mandatory server trainings have benefits that outweigh costs.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Is youth drug use making a comeback?

According to a policy brief by Carnevale Associates:

While the nation has been celebrating its success in reducing youth drug use, this celebration may be short-lived. History has shown that the current climate seems ripe for an alarming increase in youth drug use. Providing prevention resources to engage communities in embracing evidence-based programs, policies, and practices is the most cost-effective and reliable solution.

What is SPF-SIG?

The Prevention WINS coalition in northeast Seattle is funded by a SPF-SIG grant from the Washington State Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse (DASA). So, what is SPF-SIG, you ask?

SPF-SIG stands for Strategic Prevention Framework - State Incentive Grant. These grants have been awarded to states from the national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) uses a five-step process that guides communities as they plan for, implement, and evaluate prevention programs. More information about SPF-SIG is available by clicking here. The link includes a link to a Web-based application to help communities undertake each of the five steps.

Where teens hear prevention messages

A national survey finds a decrease in the percentage of teenagers seeing substance abuse prevention messages in the media. The same report shows a significant rise in the level of teenagers who engaged in substance abuse-related conversations with at least one parent.

A typical binge drinker

A new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that binge drinking is most common among whites, men, individuals aged 18-24, and those with an annual income of more than $50,000 annually.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The recession and young adult alcohol consumption

Young adults are being hit quite hard by the current recession -- over a third report having trouble paying rent -- and many are facing the pain of cutting back on favorite pastimes of the bar-hopping youth: alcohol and cigarettes, according to the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Fully 39% of those ages 18 to 29 say they have cut back spending on alcohol or cigarettes as a result of the recession.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Easy access

According to 2008 Healthy Youth Survey data, 65% of NE Seattle high school seniors report that it is easy to obtain alcohol if they want it. (Thanks to RUaD -- the state coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking -- for the beautiful charts!)

A few months ago, the Seattle Police Department and members of the Prevention WINS coalition in NE Seattle asked the Liquor Control Board to not renew the liquor license of SP Mart. Since the mini-mart has a long history of selling to minors, no matter who owns it, the police also requested that the license be removed from the site.

The store continues to be a place where minors attempt to purchase alcohol, often successfully. Early last month, a Liquor Control Board officer caught a minor in possession of alcohol outside of the store. The minor had requested an adult purchase alcohol for him or her and was successful. Though SP Mart did not receive a citation this time, the incident shows that minors still feel comfortable trying to buy alcohol there.

Surmising that teenagers are likely to try to obtain alcohol elsewhere in our community, Liquor Control Board officers are monitoring other stores in the Wedgwood area for sales to minors.

Reducing teenager's access to alcohol is one of several prevention strategies happening in our community. One strategy alone isn't going to reduce our high underage drinking rates. However, as a community, if we all work together and implement effective prevention strategies throughout NE Seattle, we will make a difference.

Perceptions about behaviors influence student drinking

From CADCA Coalition's Online:

A study reported by Health Behavior News Service found that when college students think that their peers drink a lot of alcohol, they drink more themselves. The study also found that when college students learn that their perception is incorrect, they sometimes drink less.

The reviewers looked at how social norms -- our beliefs about what is "normal" behavior in the people close to us -- might influence students' drinking. If a student believes that his or her peers drink heavily, it will likely influence the amount of alcohol the student personally drinks. They say that much of peer influence is the result of incorrect perceptions.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

NE Seattle teenagers drinking & driving

In today's Seattle Times: 16% of drivers found to be high.

When it comes to teenagers drinking and driving in northeast Seattle, this is what students report (2008 Healthy Youth Survey):
Percent of students who report riding with a driver who has been drinking:
10th grade: 23%
12th grade: 33%

Percent of students who report drinking and driving:
10th grade: 6%
12th grade 17%.

Monday, July 13, 2009

June newsletter online

The June 2009 edition of the Prevention WINS coalition newsletter is now available! The feature article is about the Prevention Intervention Specialist (drug and alcohol counselor) who serves Eckstein Middle School, Nathan Hale High School, and Roosevelt High School.

Update: Safe & Drug Free Schools & Communities funding in jeopardy

On June 19 (and earlier) I blogged about the proposed elimination of the State Grants Portion of the Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities (SDFSC) funding. Since then, the United States House of Representatives has made moves in committee to eliminate the program. Visit the Washington Association for Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention's website for more information. A major portion of Seattle Public Schools' Prevention-Intervention program is funded with SDFSC dollars.

Need stats?

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA) provides free, ready access to the most current and comprehensive national data on substance abuse and mental health. The archive includes:

* 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health -- statistics on the prevalence, incidence, and correlates of alcohol and drug use,

* 2007 Monitoring the Future -- quantifies the direction and rate of change occurring over time regarding relationships and trends among youth in school.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's new Youth Violence National and State Statistics at a Glance provides statistics on youth homicide and non-fatal assault-related injury rates.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Washington State Prevention Summit: save the date & award nominations

The annual Washington State Prevention Summit will take place October 30 - 31, 2009 at the Yakima Convention Center. Early registration and youth activities begin the evening of October 29.

During the Summit, outstanding substance abuse prevention advocates and youth leaders are recognized for their contributions. Businesses and media outlets are also recognized for their promotion of positive youth messages. For more information about nominating someone for one of the awards, visit the Prevention Summit website.

Clearinghouse cuts back services due to funding cuts

The Washington State Alcohol & Drug Clearinghouse recently sent out the following notice:

As of April 1st, the Helpline had to suspend 24-hour operation due to a severe loss of county funding. Currently the Helpline is accessible between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. seven days a week. Our intention is to resume 24-hour service as soon as additional funding becomes available. Recently we learned that funding for our statewide Alcohol/Drug Clearinghouse has been reduced significantly for the next two years. Because of state revenue shortfalls, our primary funder, the state Department of Social and Health Services - Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse (DASA), was not able to maintain our budget at current level.

For more information, visit the Clearinghouse's website.