During the past five years, the TN Division of Substance Abuse Services (DSAS) has utilized the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) to address the problem of underage drinking and youth binge drinking. The implementation of the TN Partnership for Success (PFS) included data-driven strategic planning; data collection and data systems development; state and community capacity building for prevention; leveraging, re-directing and re-aligning statewide funding for prevention; and funding and oversight of 19 PFS sub-recipient counties to implement underage drinking prevention activities through coalitions at the community level.
Statewide rates for teen’s ages 14-17 in 2009 was 19.1 percent for binge drinking in the past 30 days. In year five the achieved reductions were three percent. Numbers have also decreased significantly with Juvenile DUI Arrests. In 2008, the state had 216 arrests and that number dropped to 165 in 2012, resulting in a decrease of 51 arrests.
In Knox County, teens ages 14-17 in 2009 was 21.9 percent for binge drinking in the past 30 days. In 2013 the number was reported as 18.3 percent resulting in a 3.6 percent decrease. We are proud of our local and state efforts to decrease underage drinking and will continue to work on improving these percentages by educating youth and adults on the dangers. These numbers prove that with focused efforts and resources, behaviors will change. Prevention works!