Changing the environment of teen parties and places where alcohol is sold can go a long way to stop young people from drinking, according to a new study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
The study looked at fourteen large public universities in California between 2003 and 2006. After finding that heavy drinking at off-campus parties was a common problem, tough new policies were put in place and enforced at half the universities, while the other schools were monitored for comparison.
Universities that really focused on these strategies had the highest degree of success. Here’s what they used:
- Nuisance party enforcement operations.
- Surveillance to prevent alcohol sales to minors.
- Drunk driving checkpoints.
- Social host ordinances.
- Use of campus and local media to increase publicity about enforcement.
Researchers found teens were less likely to drink alcohol at universities that used the highest variety and level of public and visible intervention activities.
The report, called Alcohol Risk Management in College Settings, recommends using environmental prevention strategies in settings where heavy drinking among minors is most likely.