Sacramento Neighborhood Alcohol Prevention Project (SNAPP)
Principal Investigator: Paul J. Gruenewald, Ph.D.
Project Director: Andrew J. Treno, Ph.D.

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In a recent 5-year community prevention trial, mutually reinforcing strategies such as media focus on alcohol problems, changes in alcohol serving practices in local bars and restaurants, reductions in retail sale of alcohol to young people, increased enforcement of drinking and driving laws, and reductions in the concentration of alcohol retail outlets were used to combat alcohol-related accidents and injuries. The trial targeted entire communities and yielded substantial reductions in violence, drinking and driving and other harm within the experimental communities. It did NOT, however, consider the effects of intervention targeted at the local, or neighborhood level. Subsequently, prevention needs to establish the efficacy of local prevention programs within ethnic minority neighborhoods, which typically experience different alcohol problems from those of non-minority communities. To address this need, the Prevention Research Center has embarked on the Sacramento Neighborhood Alcohol Prevention Project (SNAPP).

The Sacramento Neighborhood Alcohol Prevention Project (SNAPP) is implementing a series of preventive interventions to reduce drinking and alcohol-related problems such as violence and assaults among young people in two largely multi-ethnic neighborhoods in Sacramento, California.

The interventions are designed to alter underage and young adult drinking practices unique to minority youth; presenting a focus upon social and physical access to alcohol.

Working with a local service provider, the Prevention Research Center developed an action program designed to tackle the specific problems plaguing the target neighborhoods, specifically readily available alcohol to youth within their social circles, and public drinking and intoxication (at bars and restaurants).

Early in the project PRC staff met with local leaders to identify local resources to respond to these challenges. It was determined that combining the provision training of neighborhood businesses serving alcohol in RBS polices with intensified enforcement of laws relating to drinking and the service of alcohol constituted one workable environmental strategy.

Although we are in the early stages of the SNAPP there are a number of indications that it will yield results similar to those of the Community Trials Project. To date, we have mobilized key opinion leaders as well as the broader community in support of project goals. We have made responsible beverage service (RBS) training available to all of the on- and off-premise establishments within the South Target area and have trained 56% of these establishments. We have also obtained the cooperation of the local police and sheriff departments in conducting underage decoy operations in the target sites and in enforcement of intoxicated patron sales and public drinking laws. Based on our prior experience we believe that this combination of RBS training and subsequent law enforcement will lead to reductions in the project targets, specifically, underage access to alcohol, and youth drinking and problem outcomes associated with drinking. Results of the SNAPP intervention evaluation and scientific program are establishing a scientific basis for future neighborhood-based preventive interventions in multi-ethnic populations in the U.S.

These interventions have been phased into the two neighborhoods at different times allowing a comparison of intervention effectiveness to be evaluated by examining several key areas:

• Reductions in underage access to alcohol in the study neighborhoods
• Reductions in social access to alcohol in the study neighborhoods
• Decreased number of assaults in the study neighborhoods

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