Underage Drinking Prevention Education Initiatives (UADPEI)


As part of a national effort to prevent underage alcohol use, the Underage Drinking Prevention Education Initiatives (UADPEI) project provides communication, logistical, and technical expertise to support the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA's) underage drinking prevention program. The program’s objectives are to:

  • Lead the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking (ICCPUD) and collaborate with its members to develop and implement a strategy to prevent underage drinking, with emphasis on girls and transition-aged youth;
  • Support the US Department of Health and Human Services’  objective to promote the prevention of underage drinking by raising awareness and increasing the adoption of the prevention strategies, as outlined in the department’s strategic plan;
  • Enhance intergovernmental cooperation and coordination on the issue of alcohol use among youth and provide communities with timely information on state-of-the-art practices that have proven effective; and
  • Collaborate with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and US Department of Education to prevent underage drinking and its related negative consequences among college students.


Key Activities

  • Developing and executing national conference presentations and workshops to raise public awareness about preventing and reducing underage drinking.
  • Developing evaluation assessments to test the effectiveness of materials on Building Blocks for a Healthy Future.
  • Collecting and analyzing input from substance abuse prevention stakeholders and Students Against Destructive Decisions to support the development of a national strategy to prevent underage drinking.
  • Developing a formative research plan to identify opportunities to help prevent underage drinking in National Guard families. Conducting in-depth interviews with key informants to determine how products or services for National Guard families can most effectively influence behavior(s) related to underage alcohol use.
  • Planning, implementing, and managing SAMHSA's 2014 Town Hall Meetings Initiative. By actively recruiting national, state, and local stakeholders, THMs help communities move from raising awareness about underage drinking as a public health issue to taking actions that will measurably prevent it. The project supports THMs by providing technical support services; developing support products, including downloadable and customizable print materials, webcasts, and webinars; and analyzing and reporting on THM survey results.

Town Hall Meetings - Too Smart to Start

  • Maintaining and developing website content:
    • Building Blocks for a Healthy Future - Helps parents, caregivers, and educators promote the healthy social and emotional development of young children in order to prevent substance abuse.
    • Too Smart to Start - Educates youth and teens about the risks of alcohol use.

Too Smart to Start

  • Stop Alcohol Abuse.gov - Serves as a gateway to comprehensive research and resources on underage drinking prevention. It provides materials by the 15 federal agencies that participate in the ICCPUD.



  • Coordinated over 6,000 Town Hall Meetings nationwide addressing underage drinking prevention.
  • Conducted SAMHSA’s first live webcast on Town Hall Meetings; 542 people participated online or in person.
  • Contributed to the development of 37 state/territory videos—displayed on SAMHSA’s YouTube channel—aimed at raising community awareness of underage drinking.   
  • Contributed to the development of the following, for which SAMHSA received  awards for creative excellence in health communications and social marketing materials:
    • "Underage Drinking: Time to Listen, Time to Act" video (Platinum 2012 Hermes Creative Award)
    • Too Smart to Start website (Gold  2012 Annual Web Health Award; Silver 2012 Communicator Awards in the Teen category)
    • 2012 Town Hall Meetings Initiative sub-site (Gold 2012 Hermes Creative Award; Silver 2012 Communicator Awards for Social Responsibility)
  • Helped develop an iPad application titled Me, You, and Wally Bear: Building Blocks for a Healthy Future to facilitate positive interactions between children ages three- to six-years old and their parents/caregivers. Research has shown that a solid foundation of positive communication habits, health behaviors, and social skills can help children live healthy lifestyles and avoid alcohol and other drug use as they grow older. The app is available for free through the Apple iTunes Store.

Wally Bear

  • Developed the content and design of the underage drinking prevention section of the US Drug Enforcement Administration Museum's "Target America" traveling exhibit. The section features a touch screen display providing parents/caregivers, youth, and communities with the information, resources, and tools needed to engage in underage drinking prevention efforts.
  • Designed a 15-second public service announcement encouraging parents to "Talk EARLY, Talk OFTEN, Get Others INVOLVED" to prevent underage drinking. The PSA aired on the CBS Super Screen in New York City's Times Square from April through December 2011 and garnered over 17 million estimated impressions.

Times Square announcement

  • Coordinated and managed SAMHSA's 2012 National Town Hall Meetings (THMs) Initiative to help communities move from raising awareness of underage drinking to implementing SAMHSA’s environmental prevention strategies. 
  • Provided technical support for the "Talk. They Hear You." campaign, which included developing a training webinar on how to use the campaign materials and translating campaign materials into Spanish.
2009 to 2014
US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
ICF International (ICFI)
Regions/ Countries