The Beach Cities Prevention Community Council (PCC) is a community coalition formed in response to the high drinking rates of underage youth, particularly of youth ages 12-17, in the Los Angeles County beach cities of Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Manhattan Beach.
Environmental factors including social norms, affluence, stress, a dense concentration of alcohol-licensed retailers, and local law enforcement policies contribute to the significantly higher youth drinking rates in the beach cities as compared with state averages.
Behavioral Health Services, Inc., an Affiliate of NCADD (BHS/NCADD) responded by organizing the PCC as a viable intervention approach to mobilize the beach cities communities toward environmental social change. The goal was to use traditional grassroots community organizing efforts to develop a strong coalition of community stakeholders to implement evidence-based programs and strategies to reduce access and availability of alcohol to underage youth.
What started as a coalition of a few community organizations in 2013 has become a thriving, diverse membership of community stakeholders including local law enforcement, city officials, parents, community leaders, and health professionals. The PCC is now a premier prevention resource in the community as a result of its programs and advocacy efforts to support Social Host Ordinances (SHO), Reality Parties for parents, Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) training and community alcohol and drug awareness events.
Over the past 4 years, BHS/NCADD has worked with its PCC to train over 300 restaurant and bar employees and managers in RBS training with a 90% or higher increase in participant knowledge of state laws, regulations, liabilities and the relevance to them as servers.
Annual town hall post-event evaluations consistently show an 80% or higher increase in knowledge about the legal ramifications of underage drinking and parental responsibility.
As a result of the collaborative efforts of the PCC, the city of Hermosa Beach passed a Social Host Ordinance in 2016. In addition, the PCC has also worked with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Council of PTAs to pass Social Host Ordinances in three Palos Verdes Communities.
BHS/NCADD was selected for special recognition by SAMHSA as a 2016 Communities Talk "Success Story” for its April 2016 community awareness townhall which demonstrated the innovative collaborative efforts of its PCC. This spring, SAMHSA will include a feature story and video presentation to highlight the event on the official SAMHSA website.
This past March, BHS/NCADD presented at the 2017 NCADD Conference of Affiliates and was awarded the 2017 NCADD Prevention and Education Meritorious Award. The presentation highlighted the PCC’s innovative approach to implementing prevention programs and building a strong coalition despite the challenges of working in affluent communities that don’t perceive underage drinking as a problem. Specifically, the PCC was recognized for its innovative use of media such as videos, event evites, online registration and livestream technology. The award was accepted by Raunda Frank, Prevention Coordinator and Heather Longridge, Prevention Outreach Specialist.
For more information:
Behavioral Health Services, Inc/NCADD
Contact: Raunda Frank, Prevention Coordinator