The Network CA: May Newsletter


The Network CA

Keeping California Members Connected



As the hush of finals grips our campuses, it's again time to think of how next year's prevention efforts will adapt to the new crop of students and the ever changing substance use landscape.  This month's newsletter speaks to what's ahead both from incoming students and possible statewide initiatives to help us all accomplish our goals.

Survey hints at what's to come

A new national survey (The Partnership at America and the MetLife Foundation, 2013) of students grades 9-12 was released last week.  It is a longitudinal study of teen alcohol and other drug use.  Its findings jive pretty well with the Monitoring The Future study.

Alcohol remains king
It appears that we are in an upward trend for teen alcohol use.  The downward trend from 2002 to 2007 gave rates moving from 60% to 51% reporting past-year alcohol use; since then there has been an almost annual increase to the 2012 level of 57%.  Teens' perception of parental permissiveness has also gone up: disapproval of drinking was 32% in 2010, 28% in 2012.

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The Network CA Statewide Initiative

As many of you learned at the California AOD Education Conference in Chico, The Network is reviewing its direction both at the national and local levels.  The Executive Committee is undertaking a one-on-one conversation with each State/Territory Coordinator, seeking ways that the national organization of volunteers can assist state-level initiatives.  Since I am also on the Executive Committee, I am part of this process from both ends: STC and ExComm member.

What I can report so far is that California is significantly behind the times when it comes to state-level coordination of college AOD prevention.  Other states have centers or other centralized offices that facilitate training, communication and evaluation.  Models vary by state, but the goal is the same: keep campuses moving forward with evidence-based prevention and allow them to collectively work for environmental change.

In California, we have the CSU sponsored AOD Education Conference, the RADD California Coalition, and The Network CA website.  While these are great (humbly said) resources, they do not have the reach, scope or mandate that a California Higher Education Center would have if modeled after other states.

Therefore, I am going to be pushing through every available channel to move our state towards some form of centralized coordination of college AOD prevention programming resources.  How, when and in what form this idea comes to pass is still an open question.  I'm open to all levels of help and inspiration from any of you.  Contact me with ideas and stay tuned for more information.

Another Way to Stay Connected

I hope that all of you on this list are also members of the Google Group Drughied.  It is a place for questions and answers from other prevention professionals.  Also posted there is The Network's News from the Front by Dr. Robert Chapman. It's a great resource.

Have a great summer,


James Lange, Ph.D. (Coordinator of AOD Initiatives, SDSU)
The Network State Coordinator for California