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Evidence Based Environmental Strategies Reduce Underage Drinking and Accidental Death and Injury Among Youth. Overall Objectives. Participants will: Understand why it is important to take an environmental approach to underage drinking

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Evidence Based Environmental Strategies Reduce Underage Drinking and Accidental Death and Injury Among Youth

overall objectives
Overall Objectives

Participants will:

  • Understand why it is important to take an environmental approach to underage drinking
  • Get an overview of environmental strategies to reduce accidental death and injury among underage drinkers
  • What research based approaches have met with success in communities
  • Examine and discuss the relationship of policy and enforcement to alcohol prevention work
  • Learn Available resources and tools to support this work

Underage Drinking Enforcement and Training Center (UDETC) background

  • Identify Promising Strategies

Develop Curriculum

Publish Supporting Documents

Deliver Training

Provide Technical Assistance

Follow up



ALCOHOL is the #1 drug problem in this country; and the #1 drug of choice for youth in the US and results in a host of physical, legal, economic, and social consequences for youth and the communities in which they live.

Why focus on Alcohol/Underage Drinking?

FACT: The alcohol industry earns approximately $22 billion/year

from underage drinkers?

underage drinking stats
Underage Drinking Stats

Alcohol Kills more than 5,000 Youth Each Year in the US, which equals 13youth each day.

Source: Why Do Adolescents Drink, What Are the Risks, and How Can Underage Drinking Be Prevented?, Number 67, January 2006, NIAAA

underage drinking stats1
Underage Drinking Stats
  • Each day, more than 7,000 kids in the United States under age 16 take their first drink (IOM Report, 2004)

Fact: 36% of eighth graders have consumed alcohol (Monitoring the Future, 2011)

underage drinking stats2
Underage Drinking Stats

Most kids drink to get drunk consuming four to five drinks at one time. (NIAAA, 2006)

Fact: In 2011, Monitoring The Future (MTF) data showed that 16% of 8th graders, and 54% percent of 12th graders report having been drunk at least once..

Accidental falls, burns, and drowning

Alcohol dependence

Alcohol poisoning

Brain damage

Cirrhosis of the liver


Impaired driving


Poly drug use

Poor school performance (including learning impairment)

Underage drinking has many potential consequences

  • Sexual assault
  • STDs
  • Traffic crashes
  • Truancy
  • Violence
  • Vandalism
  • Work productivity loss
the human costs of underage drinking youth ages 18 24 per year
The HUMAN Costs of Underage Drinking(youth, ages 18-24) per year
  • 1,700 college student deaths
  • 599,000 youth who are unintentionally injured
  • 696,000 youth who are assaulted
  • 97,000 sexual assaults
  • 400,000 incidents of unprotected sex
  • 2.1 million drive under the influence
  • 110,000 arrested for alcohol violations
  • 31% of college youth meet the criteria for alcohol abuse

Source: College Drinking: A Snapshot of Annual High-Risk College Drinking Consequences.

what s different about youth drinking today1
Pooled Money

Meet in person or contact by “land line”

Piled in 1 Car

Modified Paper Licenses

6 Pack of beer shared by the group

Drinking in Fields

Everybody’s Got $$

Cell phone and text messaging

Meet at the Beer Store

Computerized Fake IDs

Kegs/Large Quantities of Alcohol (Beer and liquor)

Drink in Homes, Hotels, Limos, Remote locations

What’s Different About Youth Drinking Today?



the us surgeon general issues a call to action to prevent underage drinking march 6 2007
The US Surgeon General issues a “Call to Action” to prevent underage drinking (March 6, 2007)
  • Calls upon members of Society to recognize the severity of the problem of the underage drinking in the United States and reduce alcohol use by children and adolescents to protect them from the negative effects of underage drinking.
  • Information can be found at:

2 ways to make change
2 Ways To Make Change
  • We can focus on what’s going on inside a person (i.e. feelings and individual choices).
  • We can focus on what’s going on around a person (i.e. conditions in the environment).
2 types of prevention strategies
Individual Strategies

Focus on behavior, feelings, and skills

School-based education programs

Counseling services

Incentives for healthy behavior

Alternative activities for youth

Environmental Strategies

Focus on causes and conditions

Changing economic conditions

Cost & Availability

Changing social conditions

What people think & how they live

Changing media conditions

What people read, watch, hear & see

Changing political conditions

Who has power & influence

2 Types of Prevention Strategies

None of us lives in a vacuum; we are all affected by the conditions in our environment.












what are environmental strategies
What are Environmental Strategies?

Strategies used to reduce problems associated with the use of alcohol through changes in the physical, social, legal, and economic environment

basic concepts of environmental change
Basic Concepts of Environmental Change
  • Establishes or changes community standards
  • Policy-oriented
  • Addresses physical, social, legal, & economic factors
  • Involves citizen participation, including youth
  • Engages citizen action
  • Involves partnerships with law enforcement, the legal system, community groups, and community leaders
environmental strategies
Environmental Strategies

What’s So Great About Them?

  • Effective and Efficient
  • Immediate Results
  • Long lasting effects
  • Inherently Sustainable
what questions should we be asking
What questions should we be asking?
  • What alcohol laws/ordinances are in place or lacking?
  • Are laws being consistently enforced?
  • Do advertising laws exist?
  • Is there comprehensive/collaborative enforcement of existing laws?
  • Are there locations where youth can easily obtain or know they can easily obtain alcohol?
  • What policies/programs exist in local schools?
  • What are the attitudes of parents and other adults in the community?


Public Support


Essential Elements of Effective Prevention of Alcohol Problems


Environmental strategies integrate three key components into a comprehensive plan to address underage drinking within the community as a multi-pronged approach that occurs on an on-going basis.

Components of a Comprehensive Plan



Example: Logic Model for Reducing Underage Drinking

Substance-Related Consequences







Educate retailers to check ID and enforce underage sales law

Easy Retail Access to Alcohol for youth

Low enforcement of alcohol laws

Enforce underage alcohol laws (compliance checks, sobriety checkpoints)

Alcohol-related crash fatalities

Alcohol Poisoning


School Problems

Teen Pregnancy

Easy Social Access to Alcohol (parties, peers, family)

Social Event Monitoring and Enforcement

Underage drinking

Social Norms accepting and/or encouraging youth drinking (peer, family, community)

Media Advocacy to Increase Community Concern about Underage Drinking

Restrictions on alcohol advertising in youth markets

Promotion of alcohol use (advertising, movies, music)

Bans on alcohol price promotion/happy hours

Low or discount pricing of alcohol

outcome based logic models
Outcome-Based Logic Models
  • Represent complex systems of cause and effect
  • Encourage planners and implementers to focus on the most important and strongest paths for creating change
  • Can be constantly reviewed/revised to understand relationships, adapt to new circumstances, and accommodate success
  • Bring data and evidence to selecting key strategies for prevention planning
udetc recognizes four interlocking strategies to reduce underage drinking
UDETC recognizes four interlocking strategies to reduce underage drinking

Expressions of Community Norms

Limitations on Access


Prevention of Impaired Driving

Strategies Based in Schools


limitations on access help reduce alcohol availability to minors
Limitations on access help reduce alcohol availability to minors.
  • Enforce minimum age purchase laws: -aimed at retailers - aimed at adults
          • - aimed at youth
  • Strengthen minimum age purchase laws
  • Reducesocial availability
  • Reduce overall community availability of alcohol

Limitations on Access


limitations on access commercial availability
Limitations on Access: Commercial Availability
  • Vigorous use of compliance checks
  • Application of appropriate sanctions to violating merchants
  • Education of merchants regarding techniques and responsibilities (RBS Training)
  • Require alcohol sellers and servers to be at least 21 years old
  • Prohibit those under 21 from entering alcohol establishments

Limitations on Access


Limitations on Access

Elected officials in the City of Knoxville and Knox County have stepped up their support and commitment to reducing underage drinking. As a result, the Knox County Commission and the Knoxville City Council have passed ordinances related to mandatory photo ID checks when purchasing alcohol and increased compliance check operations. A coordinated media campaign related to underage drinking prevention was created and was instrumental in maintaining high levels of public support for law enforcement efforts on underage drinking.

  • What obstacles do epidemiologists and prevention professionals face in proving the case for reducing alcohol density?
  • How do scientists best make their case on issues that can be very political? What do you find is the best way to share data?
limitations on access commercial availability continued
Limitations on Access: Commercial Availability (continued)
  • Controls on hours of sale and drink specials
  • Controls on outlet location/density
  • Increase price throughexcise taxes
  • Make the manufacture or purchase of false/fraudulent identification a crime
  • Development of community support for enforcement operations

Limitations on Access

limitations on access social availability
Limitations on Access: Social Availability
  • Special enforcement campaigns to prevent parties where alcohol is served
  • Keg registration laws
  • Enforcement of laws against buying alcohol for minors (third-party transactions)
  • Enforcement of social host laws
  • Source Investigations
  • Development of community support for enforcement operations

Limitations on Access


Limitations on Access

The community of Long Beach successfully adopted the first social host ordinance in the State of New York. Collaborations between law enforcement and key community leaders were instrumental in the passage of the policy change which has since been adopted as a model to be used by other communities throughout the State of New York to aide communities in more effectively addressing youth alcohol access issues in social settings.

New York

tip use comprehensive community interventions
Tip: Use Comprehensive Community Interventions
  • Involve multiple departments of city government and private citizens
  • Use multiple program strategies
    • Community organizing and mobilization
    • Environmental policy change
    • Heightened enforcement
    • Media advocacy
    • Education

Environmental (Not just educational!!!)

  • Realistic
  • Specific to the problem
  • “Sellable” to the public
  • Provides opportunities for wide involvement
  • Be strategic
  • Tell your success stories

Never doubt that a small, committed

group of people with a good idea

can change the world. Indeed, it is

the only thing that ever has.

- Margaret Meade

national resources
National Resources
  • AIDA (American Indian Development Associates)
  • AMA (American Medical Association)
  • Center for Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Program at PIRE (Funded by OJJDP)
  • CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America)
  • CAMY (Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth)
  • CDC (Centers for Disease Control)
  • CSAP (Center for Substance Abuse Prevention)
  • CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest)
  • FACE: Truth and Clarity on Alcohol (Facing Alcohol Concerns through Education)
national resources continued
National Resources Continued
  • HEC (Higher Education Center)
  • IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police)
  • Leadership to Keep Children Alcohol Free (Governor’s Spouses initiative)
  • LCAT (Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco Prevention)
  • MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers)
  • Marin Institute
  • NCPC (National Crime Prevention Council)
  • NCJFCJ (National Council on Juvenile and Family Court Judges)
national resources continued1
National Resources Continued
  • NJC (National Judicial College)
  • NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
  • NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism)
  • NLLEA (National Liquor Law Enforcement Association)
  • OJJDP (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention)
  • ONDCP (Office of National Drug Control Policy)
  • PERF (Police Executive Research Forum)
national resources continued2
National Resources Continued
  • PIRE (Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation)
  • RWJ (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)
  • SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
see our document strategies to reduce underage alcohol use for more information
See our document, “Strategies to Reduce Underage Alcohol Use” for more information.
  • Visit our website to download free of charge:


Monthly Audio-teleconferences

Monthly Resource Alerts

Success Story Features

Research Information

Toll-free Technical Assistance Hotline


Internet Website

Web-based Alcohol Enforcement Databases

Other Services Provided by the UDETC

Annual National Leadership Conference (August 10 to 12, Orlando, Florida)