Taking Meaningful Steps
Toward Substance-Free Youth
Making a Difference, Together
Having an Impact
Our efforts have led to community-wide changes that have furthered our mission. For example, we led a 2017 effort to raise the legal tobacco age to 21 in addition to setting minimum prices, improving park signage, and moving flavored products exclusively to 21+ stores
We brought the LifeSkills curriculum, supported the Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) initiative, and introduced the evidence-based Strengthening Families parent education program into our schools and community. We supported safe drug storage campaigns that are fundamental to keeping substances out of the hands of young people. These programs have made and continue to make significant strides toward happier and healthier youth and more informed parents and care-givers.
We fully recognize that making a difference extends beyond at home or in school. The greater community plays an important role in the future of our youth. Our alcohol compliance checks, alcohol server training programs, input on development of sensible zoning regulations around alcohol and cannabis retail stores are all part of the strategies we support.
Our work has resulted in positive movement around risky youth substance use. The 12th grade drinking rates have declined from 60% in 2009 to 38% in 2017. The number of retail alcohol stores and bars that pass compliance checks has moved from 50% in 2008 to over 95% in 2017. Successes like those are important, and we will continue to work hard to increase our impact and reduce risk for Easthampton teens.
Starting the Conversation
These initiatives have decreased risk factors and increased protective factors from 2009 onward according to data compiled in the Prevention Needs Assessment Survey, often referred to as the PNAS.