The past 9 months have been some of the most challenging times, and as 2020 comes to a close, we are looking forward to a brighter 2021 filled with all youths back to school, playing their favorite sports, participating in school/community dances/plays and other activities.
During this extended period, many parents have been working from home, helping their kids with virtual school, and spending more time together than ever before. To this point, it is important to remember that children see and hear everything. Parents are crucial role models and, as such, significantly impact their kid's decisions regarding alcohol and substance use. Raising the Bar is a county-wide initiative and parent modeling program introduced to create healthy environments in youth oriented programs and events. This important initiative was created in partnership with the Marin Prevention Network* in 2017 when the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) showed that youth alcohol and substance use rates were concerningly high. 41% of Marin County 9th graders reported that they have used alcohol or other drugs to get high and binge drinking among 9th and 11th increased by 177%. Similarly, Marin is ranked as one of the highest of the the counties in California (47th out of 58) for excessive adult drinking.
Raising the Bar is working to decrease these dangerously high rates of underage substance use by changing the social norms and trends that parents follow at public events throughout our county. Thank you for your continued support of this program. We are in the midst of updating the Raising the Bar Toolkit and will forward these to you as soon as they become available.
In the meantime, included are some local initiatives below for healthy coping skills around stress management. Please feel free to pass these along to your community/network.
*Marin Prevention Network is a collaboration of community coalitions, organizations and individuals actively seeking to change norms, policies and laws that affect the availability, promotion, sale and use of alcohol and drugs.