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Survey to get feel for community attitudes on underage drinking

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ROCHELLE B. BIRKELO
January 14, 2010
— Are you likely to report parties where youth are drinking?

Would you report an adult who provided the alcohol for a party where youth are drinking?


These questions are among those in a Partners in Prevention-Rock County survey to gauge community perceptions on underage drinking in Edgerton and Beloit.


The anonymous survey, which takes about 7 minutes to complete, started last week when postcards inviting people to complete the survey online were mailed to 1,100 randomly chosen addresses in Beloit and 933 in Edgerton. Adults 21 and older are asked to complete the survey by Jan. 31.


“It’s a very simple, quick questionnaire,” said Kathy Comeau, project coordinator.


Edgerton and Beloit residents who did not receive a postcard and want to participate are invited to contact Partners In Prevention-Rock County.


“The more information we get, the better and more accurate the results will be,” Comeau said.


Those who complete the survey have a chance to win one of five $100 cash prizes.


As of Tuesday, about 50 people had responded to the survey, Comeau said.


The goal is to have the results by the end of February, she said.


The survey will be used to create a baseline to measure the success of Partners in Prevention efforts planned for Beloit and Edgerton, Comeau said.


In Beloit, the organization is trying to raise awareness that underage drinking can be anonymously reported through CrimeStoppers.


“Partners in Prevention is trying to highlight the fact underage drinking should be reported and making sure people are aware of CrimeStoppers’ number so they can report other crimes as well. We’ll be putting posters up in addition to providing informational brochures to neighborhoods,” Comeau said.


In Edgerton, a parent network will work to encourage people to report underage drinking parties. This summer, the “Easiest Place to Get Beer” campaign will encourage parents to keep track of alcohol in their homes, she said.


The survey will be repeated in about 18 months.


“It will help us to measure whether or not we’ve made an impact doing these activities,” Comeau said.


TO TAKE THE SURVEY
Edgerton and Beloit residents 21 and older can complete the community survey by calling Partners In Prevention-Rock County at (608) 758-1844 or by logging onto the local coalition’s Web site at partnersinpreventionrockcounty.org and clicking on the link “Complete the adult perception survey now.”

Partners in Prevention is a coalition that works to reduce youth substance abuse. It also leads the “Parents Who Host Lose the Most” campaign and provides education about brain development to raise awareness about the effects of alcohol on the teen brain.



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