The Greenwich Local Prevention Council (GLPC) is seeking Drug Free Community grant funds to implement an initiative titled “Greenwich Prevention Council's collaborative multi-strategy approach to reducing youth substance abuse.” This project aims to increase community collaboration and decrease use of alcohol and nicotine (via Juuling) by youth in Greenwich, CT using the Strategic Prevention Framework, a 5 step public health data-driven planning process that requires community collaborations, cultural competency, monitoring and evaluation.
Measurable objectives to enhance collaboration include increasing community representation, support, and awareness of the GLPC and its members via educational outreach, developing/enhancing relationships with community organization, and providing relevant trainings. Measurable objectives to decrease use of these substances by youth include reducing access, improving perception of risk by youth through targeted education campaigns, enforcement, and training. Thus, the target population for this project is the entire population of Greenwich.
Greenwich is a coastal, urban community of 62,727 people within 15 neighborhoods in the southwestern county of Fairfield Connecticut (CT), bordering on Stamford CT to the east and New York state to the north (Armonk) and west (Rye Brook and Port Chester). It is approximately 20 miles from the border of New York City, and part of a region referred to as the Tri-state or Greater New York City area that includes areas of New Jersey, New York and CT. As CT has no county governments, local governments (town and city) have jurisdiction.
By race/ethnicity, most residents are non-Hispanic White (74%), whereas smaller proportions include African American (3%), Asian (8%), other/mixed race (3%), and Hispanic/Latino (13%). Hispanics/Latinos are the fastest growing group and most live in southwest Greenwich. Most residents are high school graduates or higher (95%). More than half of residents are between 18-64 years of age (58%), whereas almost one fifth are of school age (ages 5-17 years; 19%), 7% are less than 5 years old, and 17% are at least 65 years old. Although Greenwich is considered an affluent community (2017 median household income of $138,180), approximately 7% of the population live below the poverty line.
A survey conducted in 2018 of almost 4000 students in all Greenwich middle and high schools identified alcohol as the most frequently reported substance used by youth in the past 30 days. In addition, Juuling was identified in the survey and by school representatives as a fast-growing issue, and use of these devices for nicotine delivery was declared an epidemic by the US Surgeon General in December, 2018. Therefore, these substances were chosen as the focus of the current initiative.
Another youth survey is planned for Year 2.