Substance Abuse Prevention Collaborative (SAPC)
The SAPC grant is a 3 year, $300,000 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Bureau of Substance Abuse Services was awarded to Hudson in 2015 and is a regional grant encompassing Hudson, Framingham, Natick, Ashland, Northborough and Southborough. The grant is overseen by the Regional Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator, Jessica Healy.
The grant addresses underage drinking prevention throughout the state, but our role is to prevent this in the 6 towns served.
Why underage drinking prevention?
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:
Underage drinking results in over 4300 deaths per year
The 12-20 year old population consumes 11% of the total alcohol consumed in the US
Underage drinkers consume more drinks per sitting than adults
Binge drinking (5 or more drinks in a 2 hour period) is more common than youth
90% of youth alcohol use in the US is in the form of binge drinking
Someone who begins alcohol use before the age of 15 is 40% more likely to develop addiction to drugs and/or alcohol.
Underage drinking cost tax payers more than $249 billion in 2010 alone
Alcohol can have serious impacts on youth health.
- Blocks learning.
- Disrupts sleep cycles. Brain activity during sleep is important for learning and memory functions. What youth learn during the day is imprinted on the brain during sleep. Alcohol impairs the quality of sleep and can significantly diminish a person’s ability to learn and remember, even after intoxication has worn off.
- Appears less sedating in adolescents than adults. When under the influence of alcohol, youth may be more likely than adults to stay up later, keep drinking, and have the perception that they are ok to drive.
- Visit NIAAA or The Science Inside Alcohol for more information on the effects of alcohol.
What are the consequences of underage drinking?
- 5,000 people under age 21 die each year from alcohol-related car crashes, homicides, suicides, alcohol poisoning, and other injuries such as falls, burns, and drowning.
- In 2008, more than 190,000 people under age 21 visited an emergency room for alcohol-related injuries.
- Drinking can cause youth to make poor decisions, which can result in risky behavior (i.e. drinking and driving, sexual activity, or violence).
- Youth who drink are more likely to carry out or be the victim of sexual assault.
- Brain development continues into a person’s twenties. Alcohol can affect this development, and contribute to a variety of problems. For more information on the developing brain, visit National Institute of Mental Health and PBS Frontline Inside the Teen Brain.
What are some signs of underage drinking?
- Academic and/or behavioral problems.
- Changing groups of friends.
- Less interest in activities and/or appearance.
- Finding alcohol among a young person’s things or smelling alcohol on their breath.
- Slurred speech.
- Coordination problems.
- Memory and/or concentration problems.