To unite the community to create a healthy environment for positive youth development by reducing and preventing youth substance use.
Alcohol and Drug Use Wires the Brain for Addiction: Studies show that teens who drink alcohol are five times more likely to develop addictions later in life. Young people who persistently abuse substances often experience an array of problems, including academic difficulties, health related problems, poor peer relationships and involvement with the juvenile justice systems. Clearly these are critical behaviors we need to continue to address to ensure our youth successfully transition to adulthood.
Evidence-Based Strategies to Change Behavior: The PIttsfield Prevention Partnership (PPP) engages in many activities that aim to have a real impact on youth behavior and community awareness. The efforts of the PPP over the years have contributed to cutting 8th grade alcohol use in more than half. Our activities include:
- A biennial suvey of teen alcohol, tobacoo, marijuana and other drug use
- Parenting workshops aimed at positive communication and strengthening the family bond
- Community awareness events
- The S.A.Y. it product campaign, which rewards young people who are making healthy choices
- Support for alcohol and drug free social activities for teens
To increase the likelihood that liquor stores, restaurants and bars will obey the law and that kids will know they won't be able to obtain alcohol, we also run the following youth-centered acitivities:
- Sticker Shock Program - students place warning labels throughout liquor stores to remind adults about the laws against purchase alcohol for minors
- Alcohol Purchase Surveys - legal age young adults attempt to purchase alcohol to see if the establishment properly checks for identification
- Shoulder Tap Surveys - student volunteers ask adults entering liquor stores if they would purchase alcohol for them, and then advise on the dangers of supplying alcohol for minors
- Alcohol and Youth marketing surveys
Our Marketing Campaign: Highlighting Positive Student Attitudes
The Pittsfield Prevention Partnership sponsors an on-going poster and social media campaign aimed at supporting the positive choices most teens are making, in order to combat the misperception that all teens are drinking all the time. The campaign uses data gathered from local students and lends support to the students who are making healthy choices. Over time, social norms campaigns like these have been show to bring down overall drinking rates.
A Coalition of Community Members and Organizations
The Pittsfield Prevention Partnership is a coalition, linked to and supported by community organizations providing services to youth and their families.
- Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center
- The Brien Center
- The Berkshire County Sheriff's Department
- The Pittsfield Police Department
- The PIttsfield Public Schools
- The Business Community
- The District Attorney's Office
- Berkshire Health Systems
- The City of Pittsfield
- The Faith Community
- Local Media
- Community Volunteers
- Berkshire United Way
Join our efforts! We are looking to engage parents, educators, community leaders and young people of all ages in activities to help the Pittsfield Prevention Partnership promote a healthy community environment for youth! If you are interested in participating or volunteering for us, please contact Rich Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.