Prevention Council Releases 2015 Progress Report and Recommendations for Safer, Healthier Rose Bowl Events
After two years of hard work the Rose Bowl Community Prevention Council (RBCPC) has released a 2014-15 Progress and Recommendations Reports detailing its efforts to date and next steps.
In March 2013 the RBCPC was convened to improve public health and safety at large community events in the City of Pasadena. Composed of representatives of neighborhood associations (e.g., East Arroyo, Linda Vista-Annandale, West Pasadena), community groups (Day One, Flintridge Center), and city agencies (Pasadena Police Department, Pasadena Public Health Department), the RBCPC has spent the past two years observing large events, reviewing existing practices and procedures, and recommending improvements based on identified conditions and data collected.
In 2014, representatives of the aforementioned groups met on a regular basis to discuss manners of reducing alcohol-related harm and improving public health and safety at large events at the Rose Bowl. After reviewing findings from 10 major events in 2013-14, the group identified the following recommendations based upon their efficacy at other venues and potential ability to positively impact public health and safety during large events:
Rethinking Alcohol and other Drugs (RAD-SGV) prevention coalition members have launched an effort to promote responsible alcohol use at large events in the City of Pasadena.
With fall right around the corner, the football season and game day tailgating is set to kick-off again. Often lost amid the fanfare are dangerous drinking norms that accompany some large events; studies on tailgating underline that over-consumption of alcohol is endemic at football tailgates.
“Alcohol is the most widely misused drug by youth and adults in our community, with serious, potentially lifelong consequences,” noted Christy Zamani, Day One Executive Director. “However, many underestimate the dangers of alcohol use, especially underage use.”
The stakes are high. In Los Angeles County excessive alcohol consumption is the 2nd leading cause of premature death and disability, costing about 2,500 people in the region their lives every year. An estimated 16% of LA County residents, over 1.1 million, are binge drinkers.
To support healthier habits, RAD has developed a series of PSAs on the dangers of misuse, as well as the following 7 tips for adults who wish to consume alcohol at a large event:
Event policies: Rose Bowl Stadium
To promote a safe game day experience for everyone, the Rose Bowl Stadium also has the following key rules in place regarding alcohol use:
According to stadium and local law enforcement officials, Failure to comply with these and other fan guidelines, as well as applicable City, State and Federal laws may result in citation or arrest, as well as loss of tailgating privileges and/or game tickets.
The rules are aimed at reducing binge and underage drinking. Defined as consuming 5 or more drinks in about 2 hours for men and 4 or more drinks for women, binge drinking has serious health implications for individuals, including brain damage, alcohol poisoning, high blood pressure, and increased risk of stroke, injury, and cancer (breast and oral).
On a community level binge drinking is also associated with higher rates of violence, crime and injury (e.g., alcohol-involved auto collisions).
The RAD-SGV coalition wishes fans a safe and enjoyable game day experience, and urges everyone to Say Something to event security, law enforcement or guest services (or call 911) if you See Something dangerous.
Parents Invited to Tour Teen Party
A Reality Party for Parents will be held on Saturday, September, 13th in Pasadena.
RAD coalition members Day One, Jewish Family Services, Pasadena Public Health Department and Pacific Clinics, in collaboration with Straight Up and other community partners, are staging a "house party" to give parents an eye-opening opportunity to learn more about the current realities of underage drinking parties and how to help change these dangerous social norms.
Parents will take a 30 minute tour through a “party” in a local residence and then participate in a 30 minute debrief discussion and resource fair. Youth actors and local teens will depict drug and alcohol use, as well as dangerous behavior typically present at a local party.
The event is free and open to the public. Adults only.
Registration Link: http://www.straightupvc.org/register
RAD Members the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, the LA County Office of Education and Friday Night Live invite you to attend a special Town Hall forum on Underage Drinking Monday May 19th (3-5pm).
The event will feature special guest speakers Council Member Jorge Marquez, who spearheaded the passing of the Social Host Ordinance in the City of Covina in fall 2013, and Nick Nevarez, a 22 year old student, former alcoholic, drunk driving accident survivor and public health advocate.
A MADD crash car will be on display. Food and drink will be available for attendees..
RAD-SGV (Rethinking Alcohol and other Drugs) Coalition, Day One, and Pasadena Public Health Department to Host Underage Drinking Townhall Meeting
Pasadena, CA. April 8, 2014 – Youth who begin drinking before age 15 are 5 times more likely to become dependent on alcohol. Youth who consume alcohol also put themselves at higher risk for cognitive impairment – the human brain continues to develop until about age 25 – accidents, sexual assault, risky sex (e.g., unprotected sex), and physical and verbal abuse.
The stakes are unfortunately high. In Los Angeles County excessive alcohol consumption is the 2nd leading cause of premature death and disability, costing about 2,500 people in the region their lives every year.
“Alcohol is the most widely misused drug by youth in our community, with serious, potentially lifelong negative consequences,” shared Christy Zamani, Day One Executive Director. “However, many youth and parents underestimate the dangers of alcohol use, especially at a young age.”
To better inform and educate parents, youth, and the broader community about the risks of alcohol use, RAD Coalition members Day One and the Pasadena Public Health Department are hosting a townhall forum focused on the issue of underage drinking. The event will feature an expert panel, “reality party” and keynote speakers Dr. Eric Walsh, Pasadena Public Health Department Director and Dr. Didra Brown-Taylor, a UCLA alcohol researcher.
Healthy refreshments and snacks will be served, and Spanish translation services provided.
On December 17th RAD members, supporters and volunteers hosted a press conference at Pasadena City Hall to release "Alcohol and Your City: San Gabriel Valley" - a RAD Report.
Designed to be an easy-to-read document to inform residents, City staff and elected officials about local alcohol use, its impacts, and evidence-based safeguards available to communities, the first-of-its-kind report was the product of a collaborative effort by the regional prevention coalition, which was founded by six partnering agencies: Day One, Pasadena Public Health Department, Jewish Family Service, Pacific Clinics, NCADD, and Prototypes.
On hand to participate in the official release event were a number of powerful local experts, including Pasadena Public Health Director Eric Walsh, MD, MPH, who underlined the new documents ability to provide communities with clear, concise information regarding the impact of alcohol at the City level, and steps that can be taken to mitigate the issue.
Former State Assemblymember and La Canada Flintridge Mayor Anthony Portantino touched on his efforts to reduce the impact of alcohol in the community. The author AB 1999 - '911 Immunity' legislation modeled on similar policies in Colorado and New Jersey - which was adopted into law in 2010, Mr. Portantino underlined the fact that 16% of LA County residents binge drink, a staggering number. His legislation protects minors who seek emergency medical attention due to alcohol poisoning by granting immunity from criminal prosecution. The immunity is limited to the victim and the one or two underage peers if they act in good faith, call 911, and stay at the scene until the authorities arrive. Experience in other states shows that this approach does not encourage underage drinking, but helps ensure that a teen gets the medical help he or she may need.
Perhaps the most moving and powerful speaker, however, was 24 year Nick Nevarez, a 22 year old full-time college student who works part time as a salesman at the mall and spends lots of his time exercising. After being diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic as a teenager and becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol, Nick survived a car crash that nearly ended his life. The serious collision left him with a 45% prosthetic skull, a reminder that drives him to use his story to inspire youth to lead more positive, healthier lives. Over the past few years Nick has spoken to thousands of people over the last four years on the subject of drinking and driving and substance abuse, while enjoying his second chance at life to the fullest.
Many thanks to all whose hard work, input and feedback made the development of RAD's first official report and press conference a success.
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Photos courtesy of Rosaline Zaw of Open Concept Events and Wes Reutimann.
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