MGH Hotline 02.19.10 Thirteen years ago, approximately 51 percent of Revere high school youth reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days, and 53 percent reported trying marijuana. To help address problems such as these and other issues related to youth health and development, Revere CARES, a community coalition supported by the MGH, was established in 1997.

Making a measurable difference

Revere CARES receives national award

19/Feb/2010

REVERE CARES: Gen. Arthur Dean, chairman and CEO of CADCA, presents Bowman with the Coalition of the Year Award.

Thirteen years ago, approximately 51 percent of Revere high school youth reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days, and 53 percent reported trying marijuana. To help address problems such as these and other issues related to youth health and development, Revere CARES, a community coalition supported by the MGH, was established in 1997.

Today, Revere CARES has documented a marked decrease in underage drinking and drug use since its establishment. For example, between 1999 and 2009, the number of young people who reported drinking decreased by 27 percent, and the number of teens who had ever used marijuana dropped 12 percent.

In honor of Revere CARES' work in creating measurable reductions in teen substance abuse, the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America (CADCA) presented the group with its Coalition of the Year Award at the CADCA 20th National Leadership Forum in Washington D.C.

"Over the last 13 years Revere CARES has worked to send strong messages to parents and teens about the dangers of underage drinking," says Kitty Bowman, MEd, director of Revere CARES. "The Coalition of the Year Award recognizes Revere CARES' success and demonstrates the important role of an academic medical center in prevention."

Revere CARES is funded primarily by the MGH Center for Community Health Improvement and supported by the MGH Revere HealthCare Center, where the program is located. The coalition includes parents, school representatives, clinicians, city officials, police, young people, social service organizations and businesses. It takes a multifaceted approach to addressing drug and alcohol use in youth -- conducting social marketing campaigns to change parental attitudes that drinking is a rite of passage; increasing the availability of after-school activities and summer jobs; improving access to substance abuse treatment and services; and working to create policy changes, including moving bar closing times from 2 am to 1 am.

Revere CARES is currently seeking to expand its positive influence on community health through obesity and violence prevention.

Learn more about the coalition