Community Overview: UpValley Partnership for Youth
Napa Valley is world renowned for its rich wine production, Michelin star restaurants, and storybook Vistas. However, the Valley is a place of great contrast. Hidden amongst the postcard worthy vineyard landscapes comes run-down overcrowded housing for field and hospitality workers. The extreme disparity is reflected in the data, with top wage earners making more than 13 times the salary of low-wage workers. Many of our region’s jobs are seasonal, without benefits and involve long hours at low wages in fields, hotels, and restaurants; 12% of Napa’s youth are uninsured (United Way, 2017). A central challenge to prevention efforts is the fact that the community relies on the wine industry as a major source of jobs. There are more than 400 wineries in Napa County providing nearly 40,000 jobs, leading to a wide-spread culture of wine consumption. Vaping is also now a major issue in our county, and the 2016 legalization of marijuana has brought this substance to the forefront of prevention efforts.
The area targeted by this proposal is known as “UpValley”, a group of small towns in the rural northern portion of Napa County, away from the bustle of the city of Napa. Total population for the participating towns and their surrounding areas is 16,450. Students in the elementary and middle school grades here are served by small schools, all of which feed into two secondary schools: Calistoga Junior/Senior High (enrolling 379 students) and St. Helena High (enrollment 497). The student population is majority Hispanic (51%) and 45% white. Many students come from Spanish speaking households. Mental health is a significant risk factor, with 40% of 11th graders in St. Helena and 33% in Calistoga reported chronic sadness or hopelessness.
The UpValley Partnership for Youth was founded in 2013 and has made considerable strides in reducing youth use and increasing collaborative efforts in the region. From 2013 to 2018 there was a 6.5% reduction in 7th grade past 30-day alcohol use, a 13% reduction in 9th grade and a 5.5% reduction in 11th grade. Past 30-day marijuana use decreased by 3.5% among 9th graders and by 2% among 11th graders. Needs however, continue to be pressing; 20% of St. Helena 11th graders report binge drinking; 23% of St. Helena 9th graders and 25% of Calistoga 9th graders reported vaping in the past 30-days, and perceived risk among 11th graders of marijuana was low, with 59% reporting they saw no to slight risk with using marijuana one or twice a week. LGBTQ youth are using at a disproportionate rate, with 30 day use rates of 47% for alcohol and 48% for marijuana.
The coalition proposes to continue our important work focusing on alcohol, tobacco and marijuana and meet the following objectives: 1. Increase community collaboration by expanding the membership of our coalition and increasing the effectiveness of our work together. 2. Reduce substance use by youth ages 12 – 18 years in UpValley communities by limiting availability and changing community norms. 3. Increase the capacity of UpValley Partnership for youth and UpValley Schools to prevent and intervene in student substance use, with a focus on link between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), mental health, and substance use.
As a result of the proposed program, the coalition aims to reduce the past 30-day use rate of marijuana, e-cigarettes and alcohol by 1% each year or until reaching 1% in which case we will work to maintain that low percentage. Additionally, we aim to raise the perception of harm by 1% each year for each substance.