In order to prevent underage drinking, Fairbanks Native Association (FNA) has developed the Fairbanks Alaska Native Strategic Prevention Framework (Fairbanks SPF). The target population for development of a comprehensive underage drinking plan is Alaska Native/American Indian (AN/AI) youth ages 9-20 who are at risk for or already engaged in drinking in the Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB) tribal catchment area.
The Overarching Goal is to prevent the onset of and reduce the progression of alcohol abuse and reduce the consequences and related problems of alcohol use/abuse among 9-20 year olds in the Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB), our service area.
The Fairbanks SPF will be part of FNA’s Behavioral Health Department (BH), Youth and Young Adult (YYA) Services Division. YYA Services was developed through the leadership of a 17-member Interagency Transition Council (ITC), facilitated by FNA. The ITC provides leadership in the development of community-wide infrastructure to support the provision of behavioral health services for AN/AI youth and young adults. The ITC consists of leadership from the service agencies serving AN/AI youth in the community as well as a parent youth and Elder. Note: By tradition AN/AI serve each other when in the other’s service area.
AN/AI are at high risk for alcohol use and abuse with addiction patterns that begin in childhood. This risk status is exacerbated by the consequences of underage drinking, which include homicide, suicide, academic failure, high risk behaviors, and health problems.
YYA Services is uniquely qualified to implement Fairbanks SPF for the following reasons: 1) it has a strong community coalition (the ITC); 2) it has annually-updated infrastructure plans in place, including Financial, Workforce Development, Sustainability, Cultural Competence, and Access to Care; 3) YYA Services has a cadre of highly qualified Technical Assistants (TA) under contract to assist with the SPF process; and 4) YYA Services has an Evaluator /Epidemiologist with 45 years experience in research and evaluation (including the evaluation of two Alaska Native SPF projects).
YYA Services will facilitate the SPF process with the ITC in a circular process with the steps developed concurrently following assessment. The Fairbanks SPF will also provide the following required activities: building capacity, collecting community level data, implementing community coalition strategies, developing prevention messaging and strategies, and utilizing and sharing effective resources. FNA will provide education/training on Individual Prevention Strategies to identified staff and service sectors beginning in the second year, an will conduct meetings/training with lawmakers, police, public safety, juvenile justice and liquor stores on Environmental Strategies to effect change in policies, laws, ordinances to limit access and harmful consequences of alcohol use. FNA will also provide training on evidence-based practices to committed agencies.