Greetings from the Sabine Prevention Alliance, a volunteer coalition whose vision is to be part of a parish-wide community that empowers children and youth to avoid alcohol use and reach their full potential through education, resources, and support. Using the Communities that Care Youth Survey (CCYS) administered in Louisiana schools every other year, the SPA identified four risk factors that will guide our work through the FY 21-22 year. Risk factors are based on Sabine Parish 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th student responses on the CCYS 2018 Caring Communities Youth Survey, the 2021 Adult Community Survey and the 2021 Louisiana Highway Safety Data.
1.Youth think that they will not get caught by police for drinking and driving. (45.2% of students said that they did not think that they would get caught, which is 8.3% higher than the State rate. Sabine also had a 350% increase in alcohol related crashes from 2019 to 2020, Highway Safety Data)
2.Youth report obtaining alcohol from home with parent permission. (This represents a 22.1% increase from 2016 to 2018 CCYS data. In the 2021 Adult Community Survey of Sabine Parish Communities, 51% of adults surveyed reported drinking alcohol around children under 21 all or some of the time)
3.Youth report obtaining alcohol from a non-parent relative. (2018 data represents a 28.5% increase from 2016 CCYS data, 3.4% higher than the state level)
4.Youth report binge drinking in the past 30 days. Binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks at one time within the past 30 days. (15.4% of 6th 8th 10th and 12th grade Sabine students combined reported binge drinking, a 4.4% higher rate than the state’s rate of 11%. The 2021 Adult Community Survey reported that 92% of adult respondents said that underage binge drinking is viewed as a problem in Sabine)
The 2020 CCYS data has not been released yet however, based on national and local trends, underage drinking rates are likely to increase due to the impact of Covid-19 restrictions resulting in social isolation, boredom and youth being out of school with less supervision.
The activities of the Sabine Prevention alliance this fiscal year will focus on providing evidence-based strategies targeting the four risk factors described above. Some of the strategies planned for this fiscal year include:
1.A multi-media campaign to disseminate information about the legal, health and physical health consequences of underage drinking to parents and youth through live events, newspaper articles, radio PSAs, billboards and messaging on Facebook, Instagram and sabineprevents.com
2.Responsible Vendor/Server Training provided for businesses selling tobacco and alcohol products free of charge to participating employees again this year.
3.Workshops for high school students facilitated by the LACT facilitator, Janet Defata will be available to schools.
4.An increase in Sobriety Checkpoints and Party Patrols by parish and local law enforcement agencies during high-risk times such as holidays, prom night and graduation will be funded through the PFS II grant.
5.Creation of ‘Safe Zones” for children and youth around recreational areas will be developed in the Many area.
6.A repeat of the ‘Communities Talk’ town hall meetings to address underage drinking and other high-risk behaviors will be presented in two locations within the Parish. Youth groups and Faith-Partners congregations will be asked to participate.
7.Implementation of the Prevention Pluss Wellness (Sport) program that teaches children and youth to identify wellness behaviors that if practiced, will reduce the likelihood of underage drinking.
8.Continued building the capacity of the Sabine Prevention Alliance by increasing membership within the coalition.
9.Continuation of the Faith-Partners Ministry Initiative which provides training and support to local congregational teams who provide information, support and referral to services for any congregational members who may be struggling with or have family members struggling with any form of addiction. Sabine now has five congregations participating in the Faith-Partners Initiative.
10.SPA’s continued participation with the Sabine Children and Youth Planning Board which is committed to developing a full continuum of care for children, youth, and families within the Parish. The C&YPB meets at noon on the fourth Wednesday of the month in the Sabine Parish Courthouse Police Jury room. This is an open meeting.
WHATS IN THIS FOR ME? We all play a role in helping keep our children and youth safe, sober and successful. If you or your organization would like to help with this work, please contact the SPA at 318-315-0081 or 318-602-9206 or go to www.sabineprevents.com, Facebook / Sabine Prevention Alliance or email us at SPAWagley@gmail.com