Description of Strategy
This strategy focuses on providing alternative drug- and alcohol-free activities on “high risk nights,” such as after prom or after graduation. Examples of alternative activities include open gym and movies held at school, dances, ski trips, and other recreational activities. Youth involvement in planning alcohol-free activities may be an effective way to create well attended events, as well as prevent alcohol use among youth (Komro et al., 1996).
Also known as...
RAD, ROAD Activities, W.A.T.C.H., After-prom parties
Discussion of Effectiveness
The evidence of effectiveness is varied with regard to alternative events for youth and alcohol-related outcomes, although evidence suggests this strategy may be effective at reducing problematic drinking and driving after drinking as part of a multi-component program on college campuses (Hingson et al., 1996; Saltz, Welker, Paschall, Feeney, & Fabiano, 2009).
There is limited recent evidence on the effectiveness of alternative events for youth for tobacco- and other drug-related outcomes. A study of effective substance abuse prevention programs for high-risk youth found that programs focused on behavioral life skills programming were significantly more effective at reducing 30-day alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use than affective and knowledge-focused programs, although the number of recreation-focused programs was small (Springer et al., 2004).