Underage Drinking Prevention Project Presents Results at APHA Annual Meeting

The Underage Drinking Prevention Education Initiatives (UADPEI) project is presenting key results from SAMHSA’s 2012 Town Hall Meetings Initiative at the American Public Health Association’s (APHA’s) 140th Annual Meeting & Exposition this week, October 27-31, in San Francisco. The project, which is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), provides communication, logistical, and technical expertise to the administration’s underage drinking prevention program as part of a national effort to prevent underage alcohol use. URC is subcontractor to ICF Macro on the project.

Underage drinking is a significant public health issue, which can lead to serious health, educational, social, and economic consequences, including premature death and injury, sexual risk taking, poor academic performance, and substance abuse later in life. UADPEI strengthens community capacity to prevent underage drinking in several ways, including the SAMHSA-sponsored Town Hall Meetings Initiative. Town Hall Meetings are events held by community-based organizations to educate community members about the consequences of underage drinking; empower communities to make environmental changes to prevent underage drinking; and mobilize communities around underage drinking prevention initiatives at the local, state, and national levels.

In 2012, the project supported over 1,500 Town Hall Meetings across 50 states, six territories, and the District of Columbia. SAMHSA uses a multifaceted evaluation process, including organizer and participant surveys, to determine best practices for using Town Hall Meetings as a means to raise awareness and engage communities in underage drinking prevention. 

Tracy Farmer, Public Health Analyst for SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, will present key results from the 2012 surveys during a poster presentation, entitled “Getting to Outcomes: 2012 Town Hall Meetings on Underage Drinking Prevention,” on Tuesday, October 30 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. URC’s Dr. Matthew Walker, UADPEI Deputy Project Director, developed the poster. 

Key survey results include: 

  • 76 percent of organizations reported youth were involved in organizing and/or planning their event;
  • 85 percent of organizations reported use of social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, to promote their event;
  • 82 percent of participants said that they acquired new information about underage drinking and its consequences; and 
  • 90 percent of participants indicated that they planned to share materials or lessons learned.

The survey also found that: 

  • Meetings that were planned collaboratively among organizations resulted in higher attendance; 
  • Meetings that incorporated law enforcement officials and/or elected officials resulted in higher; attendance, and were more likely to result in specific actions to reduce youth access to alcohol; and 
  • Female participants, participants ages 18 years or younger, and participants ages 56 years or older were more likely to plan to share information about underage drinking.

About the Meeting

The APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition is the oldest and largest gathering of public health professionals in the world, attracting more than 13,000 national and international health specialists to address current and emerging health science, policy, and practice issues in an effort to prevent disease and promote health. This year’s theme is “Prevention and Wellness Across the Life Span."


October 30, 2012
Regions/ Countries