This event was the sixth webinar in the Preventing Underage Drinking webinar series offered by the Federal Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking, otherwise known as ICCPUD. It was hosted by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students via the National Center for Safe Supportive Learning Environments.
Alcohol use by persons under age 21 years is a major public health problem. Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among youth in the United States, more than tobacco and illicit drugs, and is responsible for more than 4,700 annual deaths among underage youth. People aged 12 to 20 years drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States. More than 90% of this alcohol is consumed in the form of binge drinking episodes. On average, underage drinkers consume more drinks per drinking occasion than adult drinkers. In 2010, there were approximately 189,000 emergency rooms visits by persons under age 21 for injuries and other conditions linked to alcohol use.
Prevention research strongly supports the use of comprehensive, integrated programs with multiple complementary components. Such evidence-based prevention strategies geared to secondary and post-secondary students require collaborative efforts between organizational leaders at high schools and colleges, and key community members. Similarly, the transition from high school to college presents new opportunities and new problems for young adults. These transitional issues point to the need for high schools and colleges to work together with community members to assist young adults in making appropriate choices.
Community coalitions working to reduce underage drinking in a community must collaborate with high school and college administrators, student body leadership, parents, neighborhood associations, local retailers, community and campus police, and other community members to maximize community-wide efforts that impact both high school and college students. Collaboration among these stakeholders can be challenging, however. Philosophy about zero tolerance versus harm reduction focus, and even forms of illegal procurement of alcohol for high school and college students often differ, making consensus on specific strategies difficult, and require special approaches to bring stakeholders to unifying action despite these differences.
In this webinar, panelists explored prevention research that strongly supports the use of comprehensive, integrated programs with multiple complementary components to address underage drinking. Such evidence-based prevention strategies geared to secondary and post-secondary students require collaborative efforts between organizational leaders at high schools and colleges, and key community members.
This Webinar is appropriate for school administrators, substance abuse and prevention specialists, specialized instructional support personnel, school climate teams, and all teaching staff from high schools, community colleges, and universities.
As a result of participating in this session, participants will be able to:
- Identify key constituents for collaboration.
- Develop specific mechanisms for engaging key campus and community groups.
- Develop comprehensive gender- and culturally-appropriate approaches to working with high schools, colleges, and communities.
- Identify methods of moving coalitions from talk to action.
Traci Toomey, PhD, Alcohol Epidemiology Project, University of Minnesota; Nicole Holt, Executive Director, Texans Standing Tall; Kerri Calvert, Bloomington Normal Community Campus Committee