The researchers also asked the participants about their use of seven types of drugs cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, inhalants, marijuana, alcohol, prescription drugs and other illicit drugs during the past month. Teenagers in the intervention towns reported lower levels of use of all seven substances and the differences were statistically significant for alcohol and smokeless tobacco. There was a 48 percent reduction in the use of smokeless tobacco and a 23 percent reduction in the number of teens drinking alcohol.
Data also showed a significant difference in the number of delinquent behaviors the students engaged in over the past year. Teenagers from the intervention towns committed 31 percent fewer acts such as stealing something worth more than $5, purposely damaging or destroying property that didn't belong to them or attacking someone with the intent of causing serious harm.
The study also found that young people in the communities using the Communities That Care system were significantly less likely to begin smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol or committing delinquent acts between the fifth and eighth grades.
The researchers recruited and matched 12 pairs of cities by population, racial and ethnic diversity, crime rates and other factors. One city in each pair was randomly chosen to test the Communities That Care system and received training during the first year on how to implement it and build a supportive community coalition.
The training included a process for each town to assess the levels of the risk factors that contribute to local drug use and delinquency. After these were identified, the communities were asked to select two to five of them as their top priorities. After that they wer
|Contact: Joel Schwarz|
University of Washington