Despite a downward trend over the last decade, underage drinking remains a significant public health issue in North Dakota with nearly one in three high school students reporting drinking alcohol in the last month and 16.4 percent doing so to the point of binge drinking.
To support communities in addressing underage drinking, the North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Behavioral Health Division has provided funding for the past four years through a federal grant to 10 communities identified as highest need areas. As a result, several local strategies have produced positive outcomes, and one strategy is receiving national attention.
Central Valley Health District (Jamestown) and City-County Health District (Valley City) used grant funding to develop and implement a localized, grassroots campaign: “Not in My House,” to raise awareness of social availability of alcohol, a major contributing factor to underage drinking in North Dakota. Since its development, the campaign has been adopted by several other communities across the state. Over the past few months, communities in other states, including nine in Wisconsin alone, have implemented the youth substance use prevention campaign.
“It is exciting to see communities working together, taking action to support the health and well-being of youth,” said Laura Anderson, assistant director of the Behavioral Health Division.
Due to the success and growing interest in the “Not in My House” campaign, representatives from the two health districts have been invited to present a training session at the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) 18th Annual Mid-Year Training Institute next week in Dallas. The session will provide an overview of the “Not in My House” campaign. It will focus on how to effectively collaborate with community stakeholders to develop data-driven communication strategies and effective messaging that support prevention efforts in rural communities.
“Campaigns that specifically target social hosting and preventing social access to alcohol are limited, so it’s rewarding to know that the ‘Not in My House’ campaign has provided leverage for local efforts across North Dakota, and nationally,” said Katie Beyer, prevention coordinator for City-County Health District. “Our ultimate goal is to convince parents and other adults to take their obligation seriously and hold others to a high standard too.”
The training session is Monday, July 15, 2-3:30 p.m., at the Gaylord Texan Hotel in Dallas. For more information about the CADCA Mid-Year Training Institute, visit https://www.cadca.org/myti2019.
For more information on the “Not in My House” campaign, visit www.prevention.nd.gov/notinmyhouse.
Information on what other North Dakota grantees are doing to address substance abuse can be found online at www.prevention.nd.gov/get-involved/find-resources.