Community Frames Q & A

What are Community Frames?

Project Extra Mile developed Community Frames to help youth leadership on their underage drinking prevention efforts.  They are intended to be user-friendly, information-rich documents that are supported by additional online resources through Project Extra Mile’s website. 

The Community Frames highlight best-practice, evidence-based strategies that will assist adult youth group 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 Community Frame topics target each of those important contributors.

Why is there a need for Community Frames?

Underage drinking and associated problems have profound negative consequences for underage drinkers, their families, and their communities.  Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among youth in the United States, more than tobacco and illicit drugs (U.S. DHHS, 2007). Underage drinking contributes to a wide range of costly health and social problems, including motor vehicle crashes; suicide; interpersonal violence; unintentional injuries such as burns, falls, and drowning; brain impairment; alcohol dependence; risky sexual activity; academic problems; and alcohol and other drug poisoning.  On average, alcohol is a factor in the deaths of about 4,700 youths in the United States per year, shortening their lives by an average of 60 years.

It’s time to stop accepting teen drinking as a rite of passage and to understand the health threat it poses.  It’s also time to replace an environment that too often enables underage alcohol use with an environment that deems it unacceptable. 

Think of the Community Frames as an additional tool to use in trying to reduce the prevalence of underage drinking and the harm it creates.  And the Community Frames are rooted in the latest science and research on underage drinking prevention. 

Where should I use Community Frames?  Who should receive this information?

The 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 or community organization.  While, in each Community Frame, we’ve attempted to be comprehensive in providing 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.  Do know there is no wrong way to use the information, and Project Extra Mile is available to offer support and advice.

How should I use the information?

The Community Frames are both fact-filled and flexible.  They can be used to educate and start a conversation with youth about underage drinking and its harms.  They can also be the spark needed to start youth community action.  Project Extra Mile’s goal is 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.