Thanks to your donations Communities that Care is helping to reduce early age alcohol use by young people in the North of our region.
A 2015 survey by students from schools in the North reported a high increase in community risk factors from year 6 to year 10, in particular ‘community laws and norms favourable to substance use’ (Y6-30%; Y10-77%) and ‘perceived availability of drugs’ (Y6-11%; Y10-60%).
Other key findings from the survey revealed lifetime alcohol use is high in each year level (Y6-19%; Y8-38%; Y10-39%); almost 10% of year 6 students, 16% of year 8 students and 40% of year 10 students report drinking in the last 30 days; almost 6% of year 8 students and 18% of year 10 students report binge drinking in the past 2 weeks.
In 2017, Communities That Care (CTC) received a grant of $30,000 from the Give Where You Live Foundation. Communities That Care (CTC) is the application, in communities, of research-based prevention science for the healthy development of children and young people. This is achieved by bringing together a diverse range of people, programs and initiatives to promote the community-wide CTC process.
By using an early intervention and prevention framework, communities are guided towards understanding their local, identified needs, then refining, and/or 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.
One of the community program implemented in response to the survey findings has been a supply monitoring activity. Supply monitoring involves monitoring the sales of alcohol at packaged liquor outlets and collecting data on how often they sell alcohol to a person who is over 18 but looks younger. This activity has been done three times since 2016 and the CTC Steering Committee is pleased to report that the sale of alcohol to minors has reduced by 31% in the Northern suburbs of Geelong. The purpose of this activity is not to fine outlets, but to ensure staff and management are reminded of the regulations and the risks of underage alcohol use.