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Reducing early alcohol use of young people

May 2, 2017

Through your donations, Communities That Care (CTC) are helping communities in the North to decrease and prevent problem behaviours in children and youth including substance use, low academic achievement, early school leaving, sexual risk-taking, and violence.

A $30,000 grant from the Give Where You Live Foundation allows CTC to provide early intervention and prevention programming specifically based on research of predictors of heath and behavioural problems. In 2016, CTC worked specifically in the area of alcohol education, working towards the healthy development of children and young people.

By using an early intervention and prevention framework, communities are guided towards understanding their local, identified needs, then developing and implementing tested, effective strategies to address those needs.  In particular, the CTC process provides an integrated approach to the prevention of problem behaviours, including harmful substance use, low academic achievement, early school leaving, sexual risk-taking, and violence.

In addition, CTC works with service providers to ensure that programming that is evidence-based is put into place where possible. In 2016, CTC worked to merge two previously existing alcohol education programs, Smart Generation (delivered by teachers in schools) and Just Think (delivered by trained drug and alcohol workers) in Geelong schools into a single program that delivers a consistent prevention message to young people.

The positives from this example are that only evidence-based programming is being delivered in the area of alcohol education, pressure is taken away from teachers as the program is delivered at the Cats Community Centre by program facilitators, and the evidence-based messaging now has a much wider reach – beyond the CTC community.   It is very exciting for Geelong to see the positive effects of CTC working to ensure the best possible evidence based programs are available for the young people in the community.