Local Teens Work with Health Department to Study, Measure Teen Alcohol Use
For release July 1, 2005
Data on teen alcohol use and accessibility collected from teens by teens is highlighted in a new booklet that emerged last year from a youth summit on the issue.
"A Youth Developed Guide to AOD Indicators" is the title of the 48-page book sponsored by Contra Costa Health Services' Alcohol and Other Drug Services Division. The concept emerged from the Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Youth Summit that was spearheaded by members of the Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Project and the Contra Costa Friday Night Live Youth Council.
"About 30 middle and high school students came together and reviewed the existing data about alcohol and other drugs," explained Haven Fearn, division director, of the two-day summit. "Then, additional data was collected from their peers by six youth groups. The results are a compelling part of this unique book."
The youth groups who gathered data include Asian Pacific Psychological Services; Friday Night Live/Club Live; Richmond-based Discovering the Reality of our Community; Bay Point-based Beyond the Youth; New Connections; and Rodeo-based Youth in Power.
For example, Youth in Power surveyed 104 young people and learned that 83% say it is easy to get alcohol in Rodeo, with 37% getting it from older family and friends, 21% from their homes and 20% buying it at liquor stores.
Beyond the Youth surveyed 80 young people, 63% of whom said it is easy for students to get alcohol and 55% of whom said they had been in a car when the driver was drunk.
In a letter introducing the booklet, Fearn wrote, "The is document is a powerful instrument to encourage communities and decision makers to explore in more depth the scope and nature of alcohol and other drug problems, and to develop strategies geared toward reducing the harmful effects of substance abuse."
The booklet, which was published in the spring of 2005, also includes a list of agencies and phone numbers to call when youth access to alcohol is witnessed.
For more information about the booklet or future activities of CCHS' Division, call 925-313-6311.
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