As a DFC Grant recipient, LCAHY is required to use the 7 Strategies of Community Level Change when developing strategic plans/action plans to create conditions to prevent and reduce youth substance use/abuse and related risk behaviors by:
7 Strategies of Change
Strategies implemented by LCAHY are highlighted under each strategy of community level change.
1. PROVIDE INFORMATION: Educational presentations, workshops/seminars, town hall meetings, forums, brochures, social/print media, web sites, PSA’s.
LCAHY sponsors community forums and town hall meetings educating the community on the prevention and trends of youth alcohol use, illicit drug use, and other public health issues such as the opioid epidemic. Resources for youths, parents, educators, health professionals, and the community are posted on the LCAHY website. A social marketing campaign is in progress.*
2. ENHANCE SKILLS: Workshops, seminars or activities designed to increase skills of participants (e.g. Parent/youth/educator/faith-based and other community “sector” trainings, strategic planning retreats, model programs in schools).
Opportunities for increasing the skills of the community sectors serving youth including faith-based organizations are in progress. Links to educational resources, which include skills training such as parenting are posted on the website. The “We ID the LCAHY Way” training provides skills to establishments selling and serving alcohol.
3. PROVIDE SUPPORT: Creating opportunities to support people to participate in activities that reduce risk or enhance protection (e.g. alternative activities, mentoring, referrals for service, support groups, youth clubs)
LCAHY supports Treatment and Recovery agencies by posting their links on the LCAHY website. Acknowledgement of youth serving organizations are highlighted in the youth resource section of the website. Teens for Healthy Youth, an initiative of LCAHY are given support through skills training.
4. ENHANCE ACCESS: Improving systems/processes to increase the ease, ability, and opportunity to utilize those systems and services (e.g. transportation, safety, education, cultural sensitivity…. providing parenting classes/literature in Spanish.
Cultural competency training is conducted by the District ESOL Coordinator. Improving access/reducing barriers to substance prevention information for the Latino population is done by translating materials into Spanish.
REDUCE BARRIERS: Improving systems/processes to decrease the ease, ability, and opportunity for youth to access substances (e.g. raising price of single-serve cans of alcohol, compliance checks).
Law Enforcement agencies enforce safe alcohol sales and conduct compliance checks to ensure employees at establishments that serve/sell alcohol are checking ID’s. Environmental scans of businesses selling alcohol and tobacco products, including vaping paraphernalia are conducted.
5. CHANGE CONSEQUENCES (INCENTIVES/DISINCENTIVES): Increasing or decreasing the probability of a behavior by altering the consequences for performing that behavior (e.g., increasing taxes, citations, and fines; revocation/loss of driver’s license). Offer public recognition to those who perform a desired behavior (e.g. incentives/recognition for local merchants).
Recognition is given annually to individuals, organizations and/or businesses contributing to the mission/vision of the LCAHY.
6. CHANGE PHYSICAL DESIGN: Changing the physical design or structure of the environment to reduce risk or enhance protection (e.g., re-routing foot/car traffic, adjusting park hours, alcohol/tobacco outlet density, signage).
Signage to educate about the underage drinking laws are provided to establishments to post. Signage to educate the community about Rx Take Back sites and safe medicine storage has been initiated.
7. CHANGE OR MODIFY POLICIES: Formal change in written procedures, by-laws, proclamations, rules, or laws (e.g., workplace initiatives, law enforcement procedures and practices, public policy actions, systems change).
LCAHY advocates for schools, towns, and businesses to review drug policies to ensure reducing youth access to alcohol, tobacco products (e-cigarettes/Juuls), and illicit drugs (e.g. marijuana and opioids). Proclamations are endorsed by the towns.
SOURCE: Drug Free Communities Support Program (DFC)/ Dept. of Health and Human Services, SAMHSA
*Social Marketing Campaigns are used to create heightened awareness and concern about the substance abuse issue and can be used to change social norms and the misperceptions of the substance.