Online Program

Importance of local data in alcohol policy advocacy: Lessons learned from a binational advocacy training program

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 2:50 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.

Daniela Marquez, BS, Shift+, YMCA of El Paso, ElPaso, TX
Holly Mata, PhD, CHES, Shift+, YMCA of El Paso, El Paso, TX
Jana Renner, MPA, Paso del Norte Health Foundation, El Paso, TX
Michael Sparks, MA, SparksInitiatives, Kihei, HI
Excessive alcohol consumption is a global problem with devastating consequences across all age groups. In the United States, youth and young adults in particular are vulnerable to alcohol-related consequences including violence, sexual assault, unplanned sexual activity, STI/STD’s, and criminal behavior. National data consistently show that underage drinkers obtain alcohol from social sources; in response, a growing number of municipalities have enacted local civil Social Host Ordinances designed to hold individuals accountable for parties or events on private property where underage and high-risk drinking occur.

Our yearlong alcohol policy advocacy training program in the U.S. – Mexico border region includes a diverse group of community partners who are motivated to promote effective and evidence-based alcohol prevention strategies using a Collective Impact approach.  Several municipalities identified local Social Host Ordinances as a promising strategy to reduce high-risk drinking, and using a policy change framework advocates are mobilizing community support for such an ordinance. During this process, advocates identified gaps in local data, and strategies to obtain data that link underage and young adult drinking to high-risk settings such as large “home parties”.

Data gaps included local law enforcement calls for service related to underage drinking, details about home parties such as the kind shared in social media, and qualitative data about the consequences of these parties. In this presentation, we share our experience identifying and addressing data gaps through surveys, key informant interviews, and social media intelligence analytics.

Community coalitions and other groups committed to alcohol policies that promote health equity can benefit from the expanding literature and experiences of advocates who have obtained and leveraged local data to improve local alcohol policy. Complex social problems such as excessive alcohol use require collaborative and tightly aligned efforts that are inclusive across sectors and that increase our collective capacity to promote health equity.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify community-level alcohol indicators that contribute to effective local alcohol policy advocacy. Discuss alcohol policy advocacy from a health equity perspective.

Keyword(s): Policy/Policy Development, Alcohol Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Assistant Project Coordinator for Shift+, the Alcohol Prevention Initiative to reduce underage and binge drinking in the Paso del Norte Region. I have a BS in Health Promotion, and have conducted health disparities research in the United States, Mexico, and Ecuador. Currently my work involves advocating for local policies and ordinances that reduce alcohol-related harm, especially among youth and young adults. I am also a graduate student in public health sciences.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.