Prevention Works!

Positive Changes on Clackamas River

August 15, 2014 the alcohol ban on the Clackamas River was amended to allow law enforcement officers to make a visual inspections for alcohol. Park users have a right to decline the inspection. If they do, however, they can be required to leave the park. This amendment immediately reduced alcohol consumption, high risk drinking, littering, and unruly behavior on the river. Community partners have pledged to work together to sustain this change to the use of the river.

Hood River, Oregon Reduces Underage And Binge Drinking:

“Through comprehensive community–wide efforts, the Hood River County Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drug Coalition reduced binge drinking among 8th graders from 20.3 percent in 2004 to 13.6 percent in 2006 – a 33 percent decrease. They also helped reduce 30–day alcohol use among 8th graders by 12 percent.”

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Percentage Of College Freshmen Drinking Beer In The Past Year Continues To Decline:

The percentage of U.S. college freshmen reporting that they drank beer occasionally or frequently in the past year has declined significantly since the early 1980s, according to data from the Cooperative Institutional Research Program’s annual college freshman survey. In 1982, 73.7% of college freshmen reported drinking beer in the year before entering college. Since then this rate has declined nearly every year, reaching a record low of 33.4% in 2012. While the decline in beer consumption over the past three decades is encouraging, one–third of college freshmen still report drinking beer in the year before entering college. Research has shown that early alcohol use – particularly before the age of 18 – is associated with a higher risk of alcohol abuse or dependence as an adult.

The findings are adapted from data from the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI), Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRAP), The Freshman Survey. For additional information, contact the Higher Education Research Institute at

Source: Center for Substance Abuse Research

“Early alcohol use – particularly before the age of 18 – is associated with a higher risk of alcohol abuse or dependence…”

Wyoming Reduces Underage And Binge Drinking:

The state of Wyoming got serious about reducing underage drinking in their state. Over the course of eleven years, community members throughout the state have collaborated across a wide variety of sectors to positively impact underage drinking. Between 2000 and 2011, past 30–day use of alcohol among youth dropped from 50% to 36%. During the same period, binge drinking declined from 40% to 24%.

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Hunterdon County, NJ:

Research clearly shows that when youth believe alcohol is easier to get, rates of drinking alcohol among youth is higher than when youth believe it is difficult to obtain alcohol. The Hunterdon County Safe Communities Coalition in Flemington, New Jersey took this research to heart and organized a number of initiatives to address the “perception of easy access to alcohol”. They also worked to increase youth and parent awareness of alcohol’s harm to adolescents, thereby encouraging parents to stop furnishing alcohol to minors or look the other way when minors were drinking in their home. The coalition worked with their local law enforcement and community leaders to change the policies regarding furnishing alcohol to minors in private settings. Another project took aim at a specific location for underage drinking during football games – behind the bleachers.

Their comprehensive efforts contributed to a decrease in the number of youth reporting alcohol is “fairly easy” or “very easy” to obtain among all grades, with the biggest change in the 12th graders (98 percent in 2007 to 90 percent in 2011). Surveys also show that fewer youth are drinking at home without parental knowledge with 10thgraders reporting 31 percent in 2007 and 27 percent in 2011 and 12th graders reporting 47 percent in 2007 and 35 percent in 2011. Underage drinking at home with parental knowledge has also decreased and more young people believe it is harmful to “get drunk” (i.e. 80 percent in 2007 to 90 percent in 2011 among 10th graders and 72 percent in 2007 to 81 percent in 2011 among 12th graders). New survey data show that past 30-day alcohol use among youth in Hunterdon County is also on the decline and the coalition expects to sustain these results in the years ahead. In this video, the coalition shares with you some details on what they did to achieve community–level outcomes.

For more information about the Hunterdon County Safe Communities Coalition, go to:

For more examples of prevention success, go to:

CADCA’s GOT OUTCOMES! Coalition of Excellence Awards

Missoula, MT:

The Missoula Forum for Children and Youth successfully implemented multiple strategies to address one unique drug-related issue in their community. After an assessment revealed alarmingly high levels of alcohol use among 8th graders, 10thgraders and 12th graders – giving Missoula the highest underage drinking rate in the state – the coalition developed a plan to reduce the availability of alcohol, change the perception among Missoula youth that underage drinking is tolerated, change positive youth attitudes toward alcohol, and increase parental supervision. This led to fewer youth reporting alcohol use within the past 30 days, more youth perceiving underage drinking to be wrong, fewer youth reporting poor family management practices and a greater number of youth delaying onset of alcohol use.

For more information about the Missoula Forum for Children and Youth, go to:


Fairfield, OH:

The Coalition for a Safe and Drug–Free Fairfield demonstrated successful implementation of multiple strategies contributing to community–level reductions for a single substance abuse or substance abuse–related problem. A community assessment consisting of student surveys, archival data, and key informant interviews revealed high rates of underage drinking in Fairfield. Access, permissive attitudes towards underage drinking and low peer disapproval contributed to the behavior. The coalition then dug deeper and identified local conditions that contributed to the root causes. They carefully selected a comprehensive set of interventions to address the issues such as working with local police to increase enforcement of the social hosting, keg registration and curfew laws, limiting alcohol availability at school and community events, providing leadership training to freshmen high school students, and implementing a media campaign on youth access to alcohol in the home.

Their efforts contributed to a decrease in 30–day alcohol among 7–12 graders (25.8 percent in 2004; 14 percent in 2010) and an increase in the age of onset of alcohol use among youth (12.0 in 2004; 13.9 in 2010).

For more information about the Coalition for a Safe and Drug–Free Fairfield, go to:

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