Friday, October 20, 2017

Underage Drinking Prevention

Many activities have ages of initiation. A person must wait until age 16 to start driving, age 18 to marry without parental consent, age 35 to become president, and so on. The drinking age is 21 for a reason; the age limit for alcohol is based on research, which shows that young people react differently to alcohol. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates age 21 laws have saved up to 900 lives each year on the road.

Research demonstrates that the brain doesn窶冲 stop growing until age 25. The prefrontal cortex (that is still in development for a teen) governs decision-making, judgment and impulsivity. Teens get drunk twice as fast as adults and have more trouble knowing when to stop, which leads to binge drinking. Our underage drinking prevention laws help protect young people窶冱 maturing brains. Although this is the law, our culture and social norms give different messages. Alcohol is one of the most commonly used substances in the United States. Long-term alcohol use can cause serious health complications, damage emotional stability, finances, career, and impact one’s family, friends and community.

  • Alcohol is heavily ingrained in our culture and community, from advertisements, to commercials, sporting events, social media, and local events.
  • In Southington alone, there are currently 89 liquor permits in our 36 square mile town, which includes grocery stores, package stores, cafes, restaurants, hotels and clubs.
  • 59% of Southington students report that it would be easy to obtain alcohol.
  • 35% of 11th graders report drinking in the past 30 days.
  • Most Southington teens who report drinking get alcohol from their friends and from their own home.
  • 58% of 11th graders reported going to a party where people were drinking.
  • 16% of 11th graders reported getting drunk in the two weeks prior to the survey.
  • 66% of 11th graders think it is wrong to drink regularly.

STEPS and Southington窶冱 underage drinking prevention activities have contributed to positive change:

  • Past 30-day use among Southington teens (7th, 9th and 11th graders) has decreased from 25% in 2009 to 19% in 2016.
  • The percentage of students that report their parents would disapprove of underage drinking has increased from 89% to 96%.
  • The percentage of students that report their perception of risk associated with underage drinking has increased from 68% to 82%.

Southington窶冱 underage drinking prevention activities have included:

  • Enforcement and Compliance Checks with the Southington Police Department
  • Social Host marketing campaigns
  • Social Host education activities
  • TIPS Trainings
  • ID Guides and training materials to restaurants and bars in town
  • Safe Prom campaign
  • Ordinance regarding alcohol advertisements

Here are recent articles from our work for Underage Drinking Prevention:

TIPS to Help Keep Southington Safe

On Saturday, June 24, employees of local restaurants gathered for a TIPS training.ツTIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures) is the global leader in education and training for the responsible service, sale and consumption of alcohol. ツ Two important parts of coalition work is educating the community and reducing access. ツBy providing this training for local merchants, … Read More

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Parents Gather to Make Prevention a Priority in the Southington Community.

Adults from the Southington community gathered to learn about the dangers and realities our kids are facing today. Presenters included Officer Kevin Naranjo from the Southington Police Department, Lt. Chris Bartolotta from the State Police, Patricia Rehmer from Hartford Healthcare and Martha Galligan representing a partnership with the US States Attorneys Office. After the presenation, … Read More

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PROMising Students

Please join us in acknowledging these students for PROMising to stay alcohol and substance free on Prom night: Alissa Angels Erica Bruno Julia Wells Buddy Alcutt Mikaela June Olivia Fournier Benjamin Wakefield Gabriella Bassi Belanger Jack Storm

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Local Merchants Help Prevent Underage Drinking

Over the next few weeks, STEPS Advisory Board Members will be visiting local merchants to distribute counter mats to display in their businesses. The counter mats exhibit the STEPS logo and that the business will not distribute alcohol to teens.  By partnering with STEPS and the Southington Police Department, these community stakeholders are able to … Read More

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Lunch & Learn with the Clergy Sector

The Southington Clergy Association, STEPS and the Southington Police Department hosted a ‘Lunch & Learn’ for members of the clergy sector on Tuesday, February 28th at Southington Care Center. ツThe topic was on current drug and alcohol trends, including the current opioid crisis facing our state and nation. Presenters included Pat Rehmer from Hartford Healthcare, … Read More

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TIPS Training for Local Businesses

On Saturday, January 21, 2017, employees from local restaurants and package stores attended a TIPS training sponsored by the STEPS Coalition.ツ TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures) is the global leader in education and training for the responsible service, sale, and consumption of alcohol.ツ Sam the Clams, Tavern 42 and Buffalo Wild Wings sent participants from … Read More

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STEPS Hosts Interactive Forums to Discuss Recent Survey Results

On October 18th and November 9th, interactive community forums were held with various sectors throughout the community. ツThe purpose was to review and share data from our recent student survey and work with community members to create an action plan for change. ツThank you to all the participants for your time and commitment to our … Read More

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Be in the Know – The Reality and Impact of the CT Social Host Law

On Wednesday, May 25th, parents and other members of the community attended one of our workshops that is part of the Be in the Know series, The Reality and Impact of the CT Social Host Law. ツAttorney Paul Bedard, Lieutenant Steve Elliott, Dr. George Skarvinko and Officer Chad Butler presented information about the CT Social … Read More

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2016 Prom Promise Campaign

Both the Southingtonツjunior and senior proms are just around the corner and the annual STEPS prom campaign is underway. ツIn an effort toツdiscourage underage drinking on prom night,ツthe campaign asksツstudents attending the prom and their parents or guardians to sign the 窶弃rom Promise.窶 By signing the promise students agree they will not drink, and parents/guardians … Read More

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ID Checking Guide Books

STEPS Advisory Board members visited 91 Southington liquor permitees to give them each a copy of the 2016 ID Checking Guide book. These books list every valid license in the U.S.

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Be in the Know Forum

On Wednesday, October 14th the STEPS Coalition held the first Be in the Know Forum on the CT Social Host Law and the dangers of underage drinking with Attorney Tony Sheffy, Dr. George Skarvinko, Lieutenant Steve Elliott and Officer Chad Butler from the Southington Police Department. Attorney Sheffy spoke on a few different scenarios that … Read More

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5th Graders Make Cards for SHS Seniors

This past weekend, the Southington High School Senior Class had their prom. ツThe Friday before, cards made by the 5th grade students throughout the school district were handed out to the seniors wishing them a good time at their prom on Saturday. Volunteers give out the hand made cards to the seniors as they made … Read More

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Senior Prom and the CT Social Host Law

by Tony Sheffy, founding partner at The Law Office of Sheffy, Mazzaccaro, DePaolo & Denigris, LLP ツ White teeth smiling – girls in gowns of every spring color and young men in black tuxedos line up for aツ final group shot before heading to the prom.ツ Cameras flash – pictures capturing the beauty of youth … Read More

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2015 Prom Promise Campaign

Both the Southingtonツjunior and senior proms are just around the corner and the annual STEPS prom campaign is underway. ツIn an effort toツdiscourage underage drinking on prom night,ツthe campaign asksツstudents attending the prom and their parents or guardians to sign the 窶弃rom Promise.窶 By signing the promise students agree they will not drink, and parents/guardians … Read More

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Underage Drinking Starts in the Home

Do you have teenagers that are ever home alone?  Do you keep track of the amount of alcohol in your refrigerator, pantry or liquor cabinet? 44.5% of the  Southington students surveyed reported that if they do drink, they get their alcohol from their home with or without their parent's permission. YOU can help prevent this … Read More

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’84’ is Spreading…

Last week, the STEPS Youth Council starting spreading the number ’84’ around town, making people wonder just what this number really means…? ツMany are guessing but they won’t be revealing the answer until this Friday, November 21. ツHowever, we’ve started seeing this number pop up in different places around town like the YMCA… Southington High … Read More

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#southington84

Written by Matt Garry, STEPS Youth Council Member If you think you know what all these ’84’ signs around town mean, think again! The STEPS Youth Council has started a town-wide campaign to get one single number out to the community. This number has been on posters, pins and other items all around Southington. ツEveryone … Read More

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STEPS Receives DFC Grant for $625,000

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STEPS Receives SAAC’s Youth Education Award

On September 9th, Morgan Maccione, a representative of the STEPS Youth Council, presented STEPS’ Substance Abuse Action Counil’s Photovoice Project at their Annual Meeting. ツThe photovoice project focused on youth answering the following three questions:

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Southington Liquor Forum

On Wednesday July 23, 2014, the Southington Police Department in conjunction with the STEPS Coalition, the State of Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Liquor Control Division, and the Town of Southington, hosted a two hour informational session at Hawk窶冱 Landing Country Club.

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Southington 5th Graders Wish High School Seniors a Fun and Safe Prom

5th graders from the elementary schools in town made some wonderful cards to spread wishes of fun and happiness to the seniors at SHS for their upcoming prom. Seniors received the cards today and showed them off to teachers and friends.

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Southington Takes the Prom Promise

Both the Southington junior and senior proms are just around the corner and the new STEPS prom campaign is underway.  In an effort to eliminate underage drinking on prom night, the campaign asks students attending the prom and their parents or guardians to sign the “Prom Promise.” By signing the promise students agree they will not drink, and parents/guardians … Read More

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Upcoming TIPS Training

Southington bar and restaurant employees are invited to attend a free training for certification, sponsored by STEPS! Training for Intervention Procedures: The global leader in education and training for the responsible service, sale, and consumption of alcohol Immediate Benefits * Improved customer service * Safer communities * Lower insurance premiums * * Reduced exposure to … Read More

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Youth Proactive in the Vision of STEPS

by E. Richard Fortunato, STEPS Advisory Board Member   As a member of the STEPS Advisory Board for Media, I've enjoyed an upfront view of the mission, work projects, contributions and stories of virtually all of the sectors making up the coalition called STEPS, Southington's Town-wide Efforts to Promote Success.   

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Another Party Bust; Police encourage better decision making.

The following is an article from Southington Patch: Party Busted: Southington Police Cracking Down on Underage Drinking A noise complaint led officers to discover 11 minors, including three under 18, drinking alcohol and as these parties have been discovered in recent months, police are now cracking down hard on underage drinking. Posted by Jason Vallee … Read More

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Officers Charge 37 After Finding Underage Drinking Party

Officers Charge 37 After Finding Underage Drinking Party A tip led officers to find a Pheasant Run home filled with underage party-goers and led officers to issue numerous citations as all 37 in attendance were below the age of 21, according to the Southington Police Department.

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Roundtable Discussion Held on Underage Drinking

A roundtable discussion was held at the Southington Library, February 24th 2011  to talk about how to recognize and discourage underage drinking.  The event was co-sponsored by the Southington Library and S.T.E.P.S. and funded by a grant from Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration.  See the Meriden Record Journal article for more details.

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