SRSLY has partnered with Chelsea Community Hospital and is building a coalition that includes the school district, library, local law enforcement, businesses, religious organizations, parents, and youth. O'Neill Consulting-a Chelsea firm that specializes in prevention, safety, and health promotion projects-conducted a community assessment. It showed that nearly 30 percent of Chelsea eleventh graders have had five or more drinks of alcohol on at least one occasion in the past thirty days, compared to the state average of 24 percent.
"We use local data to make adjustments to the program on a regular basis," says Angela O'Neill, president of O'Neill Consulting and SRSLY executive committee secretary. "We use adult surveys, community input, and information from police to continually monitor our progress."
SRSLY's Youth Empowerment Solutions program is based on research from U-M's School of Public Health. It teaches seventh through tenth graders how to plan and lead their own substance abuse prevention initiatives. Upcoming youth-run programs may include a community read, a photo project, and an educational campaign on pharmacy bags about the dangers of abusing prescripton and over-the- counter drugs.
Besides education programs, SRSLY sponsors social events and a "sticker shock" program, which uses labels on alcohol at participating stores to highlight the law against buying alcohol for minors.