Arizona Coalition Building Project

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

Problem or issue to be addressed In 2006 and 2007 alcohol was the most frequently used substance by people entering substance abuse treatment services in the States behavioral health system. In 2009, Arizonas Statewide Epidemiological Work Group published a study of substance abuse statewide. This Epidemiology Profile study indicates alcohol is the most prevalent and costly substance of abuse in Arizona. Included in the Profile are results from the 2008 Arizona Youth Survey (AYS) which showed that alcohol is the most commonly used substance among Arizona 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students. Approximately 60% of students reported using alcohol in their lifetime while one-third reported using alcohol in the past 30 days. Thus, alcohol use among underage youth remains a significant problem in Arizona. While the problem of underage drinking has been addressed by the Arizona Substance Abuse Partnership (ASAP) and its Underage Drinking Committee and coalitions, youth alcohol use still needs attention, especially in rural communities. Frequencies of alcohol use are highest among youth in rural counties with Santa Cruz (45.8%), Greenlee (43.3%), Gila (37.2%), and Mohave (36.4%) counties exhibiting the highest rates of youth alcohol 30-day use in the state1 compared to the state average of 33.1%. These four counties also maintain the highest rates of youth binge drinking with students in Santa Cruz (30.6%), Greenlee (24.5%), Gila (24.7%), and Mohave (22.7%) counties reporting higher binge drinking rates than the state average of 19.9%. A main contributor to the underage drinking problem is parent/family and community acceptance of and/or modeling of substance use and abuse. Over 50% of 8th grade students and 78% of 12th grade students reported that alcohol was very easy or sort of easy to get. Among the most prevalent factors placing youth at high risk for alcohol use are parent attitudes favorable to drug use, laws and norms favorable to drug use, and the perceived availability of substances (AYS, 2008). Arizona communities have a number of laws and policies in place that make abuse of alcohol and access to alcohol easier. For instance, taxes on the sale of alcohol have not changed in many years and Arizona has a low tax on alcoholic beverages. In order to reduce alcohol abuse, communities must have the capacity to plan and implement comprehensive, evidence-based and cost effective strategies. In a report on building coalition capacity and sustainability, The Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention (funded by the U.S. Department of Education), stated that, one way to ensure the sustainability of programs and coalitions is to ensure that multiple program staff or coalition leaders and members are trained in the essential program elements or strategies. By training individuals at multiple levels, programming is likely to be sustained even if there is turnover in key staff or leadership positions, (p. 4)2. At this time, capacity to plan and implement effective substance abuse prevention strategies is inconsistent among communities; those associated with the State Incentive Grant State Prevention Framework (SPF SIG) grant have been most involved in coalition and planning technical assistance. Yet, Arizona has over 100 active community substance abuse prevention coalitions. While several of these coalitions have exceptional capacity due to extensive training and technical assistance, many communities still have great need. Geographic location has been a barrier to many of the rural coalitions getting assistance. Most trainings have been offered centrally in Phoenix, which requires travel for coalitions in remote areas of the state and can be prohibitive due to cost. Further, reductions to state and federal budgets have reduced funds available for prevention programs. In order to make an impact on the problem of alcohol abuse, coalitions need to inc
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date7/1/106/30/11

Funding

  • Arizona Office of the Governor: Office of Youth, Faith and Family (GOYFF): $79,816.00

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