Reducing underage & heavy drinking in local communities
Heavy episodic drinking poses severe health risks and can have multiple negative short and long-term consequences for the individual, including academic failure, violence, road accidents, injuries, intoxication and risky sexual behavior, addiction and adverse health effects, e.g. disruption of brain development.
Children and adolescents are especially vulnerable to those effects. Nevertheless, research has shown that 20 percent or more of the 15 to 19 year olds in Europe episodic drink large amounts of alcohol.
“Localize It!” aims at strengthening municipalities in their capacity to reduce underage and heavy episodic drinking. Coordinated and custom-fit local alcohol strategies will be developed, implemented and evaluated for 22 municipalities in eleven European countries.
For reducing underage and heavy episodic drinking, action needs to be taken by authorities closest to the citizens and where alcohol consumption actually takes place – on the local level. For this, a coordinated local alcohol strategy has proven to be the most promising approach.
Municipalities have the responsibility and power for implementing such a strategy and are the appropriate authority for this task. With “Localize It!” municipalities will be supported by experienced prevention experts in developing and implementing custom-fit local alcohol strategies.
To support municipalities in developing and implementing coordinated and custom-fit local alcohol strategies, prevention experts will guide the municipalities through a political process (as shown below).
At first there will be a Rapid Assessment & Response (RAR) in which local key figures will be interviewed.
Round tables will be established in each municipality. They will choose a specific setting based on the RAR results. For the chosen setting a thorough situation analysis and needs assessment will be conducted.
The round tables will develop an action plan for the chosen setting including four measures, chosen from a Europe-wide collection of good and best practices within the project.
These measures will be realized and evaluated within the “Localize It!” project.
If necessary, adjustments will be made and the alcohol strategies will be monitored and embeddedwithin the regular services of the municipality.