Substance Abuse Prevention

The Substance Abuse Prevention Network focuses on preventing underage drinking and substance abuse through education, awareness, community-wide initiatives, and changing social norms.
 
 
Substance Abuse Campaigns
 
The Substance Abuse Prevention Network is currently promoting several promising social norming campaigns in partnership with the Community Coalition Alliance of Southeast Florida:
 
 
FRIDAY NIGHT DONE RIGHT: 
 
This is a social norm campaign that emphasizes things teens would rather do instead of drink or do drugs. The Roundtable will sponsor two large-scale teen events—one in Port St. Lucie and one in Fort Pierce – for youth to have fun in a safe and drug free environment. The Fort Pierce event will bring together the hundreds of teens in the Lincoln Park area who have participated in Restoring the Village focus groups over the last six months. These teens have been very candid with community leaders about their experience with violence and substance abuse in our community. We want to recognize and celebrate them, acknowledging that while it’s often the negative that gets the attention, we know that the majority of youth in our community are making right choices. 
 
The theme for these Kids at Hope events is “Friday Night Done Right: No Alcohol, No Dope . . . JUST HOPE!”
 
PARENTS WHO HOST LOSE THE MOST: 
 
St. Lucie County’s data shows that teens who drink alcohol primarily obtain it, not from liquor stores, but from either their own homes or their friends’ homes. The PARENTS WHO HOST LOSE THE MOST strategy is a public awareness campaign educating communities and parents about the health and safety risks of serving alcohol at teen parties. The program concentrates on celebratory times for youth, such as homecoming, prom, holidays, graduation, and other times when underage drinking parties are prevalent. By distributing marketing and awareness materials throughout the county, the Network will encourage parents to send a unified message that teen alcohol consumption is unhealthy, unsafe, and unacceptable. The Network will partner with local businesses, such as formal wear shops, limo services, flower shops, and liquor stores around prom and graduation time to spread the word.
 
KNOW THE LAW:  A GUIDE FOR YOUTH AND PARENTS: 
 
This booklet was developed as a collaborative project to provide information to parents and youth on the laws surrounding substance abuse and violence and the consequences of breaking them. The goal is to have this booklet distributed in schools or after school by law enforcement officers as part of presentations to students. The Roundtable will work with school security and resource officers to launch this campaign, and continue to collaborate with the Lincoln Park Ministers Association in their effort to build positive relationships between law enforcement and youth in the community.
 
Talk. They Hear You.
 
The Substance Abuse Coalition is focused on bringing awareness to parents and caregivers in St. Lucie County about the national underage drinking prevention campaign “Talk. They Hear You.”  This campaign, developed by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), “helps parents and caregivers start talking to their children early --as early as 9 years old-- about the dangers of alcohol.”   
 
The campaign and its website provide tools and literature about the negative consequences of underage drinking. The website also includes an interactive video game that helps parents “learn the do’s and don’ts of talking to kids about underage drinking.”  
 
Through collaboration between the St. Lucie County School District, New Horizons of the Treasure Coast, Inc., and DATA, all 5th grade students and numerous high school students in the county will be receiving literature on two separate occasions to take home to their parents/caregivers about the “Talk. They Hear You.” campaign.
No ID. No Sale.
 
Youth see gas stations and convenience stores plastered with signs promoting alcohol and tobacco just while driving by the stores, and even more so when they enter the stores.   In the fall of 2014, Roundtable staff conducted scans of local convenience stores to evaluate how these stores were promoting alcohol and tobacco products through signage and sales practices.  Here are the results:
 
  • Almost 61% of the signs outside the convenience stores promoted alcohol, and almost 40% promoted tobacco;
 
  • Almost 54% of the signs inside the convenience stores promoted alcohol, and almost 23% promoted tobacco.
 
  • 33% of the stores had signs outside emphasizing that buyers must be 21 to purchase alcohol, and 89% had signs outside stating that buyers must be 18 to purchase tobacco.
The Bottom Line:  “NO ID. NO SALE.” Signage is important to portray a unified message to youth.  The lack of signage promotes an environment where underage use is acceptable.

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