Alcohol

Problem: Underage drinking, including binge drinking, among high school students in the Twin Cities.

In response to the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) conducted at the three local high schools, a compilation of student responses include the following:

  • 43% of Redwood 11th graders say they have consumed 5 or more drinks in a few hours in the past 30 days
  • 47% of Redwood 11th graders who drink alcohol consumed first drink by age 14
  • 54% of San Andreas students say they have consumed 5 or more drinks in a few hours over the past 30 days
  • 33% of Tamiscal students say they have consumed 5 or more drinks in a few hours over the past 30 days

The Twin Cities Police Department reported the following in the period from January to September 2011:

  • 88 alcohol-related police contacts with juveniles
  • 26 alcohol-related police incidents with juveniles

Risk Factors:

1) Alcohol is easy to get. 87% of Redwood 11th graders say alcohol is “easy to get” (CHKS). 31% of Redwood students illegally obtain alcohol 2-3 times or more per month (Redwood Bark).

  • Unaccounted-for alcohol in homes
  • Merchants sell alcohol to high school aged youth (8% Redwood High respondents use fake IDs – Redwood Bark)
  • Shoplifting (local merchants report people attempting to steal alcohol once per week)
  • Parents and family members provide (31% of Redwood students obtain alcohol through friends or parties – Redwood Bark)

2) Alcohol can be consumed by high school aged students in a variety of discrete locations and venues. Multiple locations to use include along the bike paths, in local parks, in local shopping center parking lots, and in empty or unsupervised homes.

  • Regular weekly walks by committee members along the bike path over the course of 3 months revealed consistent evidence of recent alcohol use, regardless of the day of the week.
  • Regular visits to local parks over the course of 3 months revealed frequent evidence of alcohol use.