Underage drinking in Nebraska is a community problem of staggering size. Despite being a state with a small and primarily rural population, Nebraska ranked fifth among states based on the percentage of alcohol consumed underage.
Statistics show that there are about 81,000 underage drinkers in Nebraska. The 2011 Nebraska Youth Behavioral Survey provides a quick snapshot of the underage alcohol consumption issue. It states that during 2011, three-in-five high school students (61%) reported that they drank alcohol during their lifetime; more than one-in-four (27%) reported drinking alcohol during the past 30 days; and one-in-six (16%) reported binge drinking during the same period. An additional disturbing fact from the survey, one-in-four high school students reported either riding with a drinking driver or driving while/after drinking themselves during the past 30 days in 2011. Six percent reported doing both.
With all of the above information as a backdrop, Project Extra Mile has developed Community Frames to assist youth leadership on the underage drinking prevention effort. Youth have an uncanny ability to lead on the effort to prevent youth alcohol consumption, and it has been Project Extra Mile’s philosophy that their leadership is critical to the overall community effort.
Community Frames are intended to assist adult sponsors who work with youth on the underage drinking issue whether directly through school-based programs, such as a SADD chapter or indirectly through a church youth group. The documents will help frame best-practice, evidence-based strategies in such a way that will assist adult sponsors to empower youth toward action and leadership on the underage drinking issue.
A number of factors contribute to underage drinking, including price, physical availability, promotion, and enforcement and regulation. The topics of the Community Frames will target or provide information on each of those important contributors. The Frames are intended to be user-friendly documents that have additional resources, specific to the topic, easily available through Project Extra Mile’s website.
It is our goal to see that the youth leadership efforts you are facilitating are effective, based on the science, and lead to youth-led efforts that change the landscape related to underage drinking in your community, protecting our most valuable resource, our kids.
We’re here to help! While, in each Community Frame, we have attempted to be comprehensive in providing you a good number of important resources to help you be successful in your efforts, we know that each community is different, has different dynamics, and that each youth group is a bit different requiring sometimes more individualized technical assistance. We’re never more than a short phone call or email away and available to assist you however we can.