Two recent studies confirm that Drug Free Communities (DFC) have seen a decline in rates of 30-day substance use.
The Coalition for Placer Youth (CPY) and similar coalitions nationwide are celebrating efforts to urge teens and their parents to take a stand against abuse of drugs and alcohol. A 2012 evaluation was released by the DFC Support Program that shows the success of DFC-funded coalition programs. Similar declines were found in data collected by CPY for Placer County communities.
The 2012 DFC Support Program evaluation shows that, from 2002 to 2012, rates of past 30-day alcohol use declined by 2.8 percent among middle school students and 3.8 percent among high school students. Prevalence rates of past 30-day use among high school students for alcohol were significantly lower in communities with a DFC grantee (coalition) than in areas sampled by the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey in all five years compared (i.e., 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011), and prevalence rates for marijuana use were lower in DFC communities for four of the five years (2003, 2005, 2007, and 2009). DFC grantees generally mirrored national prevalence of past 30-day tobacco use, but were significantly lower in 2009 and 2011.The full evaluation is available via pdf online
The Coalition for Placer Youth reports similar trends showing that, from 2009 to 2012, rates of past 30-day alcohol use declined 9% among 9th graders.
Created through the Drug Free Communities Act of 1997, the Drug-Free Communities DFC Program supports community coalitions working to reduce substance use among youth and to create safer and healthier communities. The DFC program is funded and directed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, with support from Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
CPY is urging parents to help protect their teens from the dangers of drugs and alcohol by taking a pledge to keep an active and open dialogue about substance abuse with their teens, and to create an environment where it is safe for their teens to talk to them about drugs and alcohol. Parents can learn more about how to protect their teens and can sign a pledge online . CPY is in the fourth year of a five-year DFC grant to reduce underage alcohol abuse and prescription drug abuse in western Placer County by educating and empowering parents.
For more information, visit www.CoalitionForPlacerYouth.org.