Fighting Drugs and Alcohol in Oakland Starts with Youth

Fighting Back: Community Initiatives to Reduce Demand for Illegal Drugs and Alcohol

The Alameda County (Calif.), Castlemont Corridor Coordinating Council initiated a project in March 1990 to reduce the demand for alcohol and drugs and the harm they cause in East Oakland.

The area is characterized by poverty, high rates of unemployment, crime, violence and drug and alcohol abuse.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) national program, Fighting Back: Community Initiatives to Reduce Demand for Illegal Drugs and Alcohol.

Key Results: Among the activities completed during the project, the Fighting Back program in East Oakland:

  • Established Grandparents as Second Parents, a support and advocacy program for grandparents and other relatives who are raising their second generation of children due to family problems caused primarily by substance abuse.
  • Established the first two outpatient treatment centers for adolescents in Oakland.
  • Helped establish 25 new after-school homework centers and developed two substance abuse curriculums for these and existing after-school programs.
  • Published a comprehensive report on key substance abuse indicators, A Sobering Discussion of the Impact of Drugs & Alcohol on Oakland: The Changing Face of Substance Abuse.
  • Provided technical assistance to the Oakland Police Department in developing an automated system to map the locations of arrests, drug "hot spots" and liquor stores in order to focus enforcement efforts.