Rallying Communities to Improve Their Stance Against Tobacco and Alcohol Use

Environmental approaches to substance abuse prevention

From 1993 to 1996, staff at the Marin Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Other Drug Problems provided technical assistance, training and support to seven community coalitions seeking to change environmental norms and standards regarding use of alcohol and tobacco.

Each coalition prepared a plan of action for its own community, then tested a number of innovative strategies with assistance from the grantee. The coalitions included:

  • The New Mexico Alcohol Issues Consortium, Albuquerque, N.M.
  • The Citywide Liquor Coalition for Better Laws and Regulations, Baltimore, Md.
  • The MidTown Neighborhood Association, Milwaukee, Wis.
  • The Kearney Area Substance Prevention Program, Kearney, Neb.
  • The Coalition on Alcohol Outlet Issues, Oakland, Calif.
  • The Middle Georgia Council on Drugs, Macon, Ga.
  • Eugene/Springfield Community Partnership for Substance Abuse Prevention, Eugene, Ore.

The Marin Institute, based in San Rafael, Calif., is an alcohol industry watchdog and a resource for solutions to community alcohol problems.

Key Results

  • Accomplishments by the coalitions included:

    • The passage of a local ordinance regulating alcohol retailers in Oakland, Calif.
    • A reduction in liquor advertisements on billboards in Baltimore, Md.
    • The initiation of an alcohol-free, family-oriented First Night celebration in Eugene, Ore.
    • In addition to building capacity for future action by the seven coalitions and raising awareness of substance abuse in their localities, the project helped draw attention nationally to the need for coordinated local responses to substance abuse.