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Noble County, IN

Drug-Free Noble County, Inc.

Drug-Free Noble County (DFNC) is a local coordinating council for the Indiana Governor’s statewide commission to reduce the illegal use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs through law enforcement; policy development; and education, treatment, and prevention programs in northeastern Indiana. The Too Smart To Start team in Noble County takes the initiative’s message seriously and works to spread the word and change the attitudes and behaviors of its residents. As such, the team uses a variety of methods to educate the community about the harms of underage alcohol use.

The Too Smart To Start team holds a series of fun and educational afterschool programs for fourth graders and their parents called “Extreme 4.” These events include three workshops for the kids: “Alcohol and the Brain,” where youth are taught how their brain works and how alcohol can affect it; “Media Messages,” where youth are shown how the media portrays and promotes alcohol use; and “Healthy Goals for a Healthy Future,” where youth are challenged to think about how setting healthy goals now can help them to achieve their future goals. As part of the program, the youth receive additional resources related to the prevention of underage alcohol use, such as a bookmark with tips to resist peer pressure. During Extreme 4, parents attend their own workshop called, “Parents: Key to Prevention,” where they receive information on how to talk with their children about the dangers and health risks related to underage alcohol use. At the end of the program, families come together for a pizza and rootbeer dinner, where they are encouraged to discuss what they have just learned.

In an effort to increase social unacceptability of underage alcohol use in the larger community, the Extreme 4 program, as well as other DFNC-sponsored Too Smart To Start programs, are promoted through billboards and newspaper ads in the county’s newspapers. In addition, the team disseminates flyers to churches, to be included in Sunday Worship bulletins, and to grocery stores, to be put in each customers’ bags. The DFNC team also partners with local businesses to include paycheck stuffers with each employee’s paycheck. Additionally, the team disseminates a monthly newsletter to all parents of fourth graders through eighth graders called “Smart Talk,” which includes alcohol facts and tips for parents on how to talk with their children. The newsletter also includes a Family Activity page that can be returned to school for a small prize. These submissions are then entered into a drawing for a bigger family prize. The Too Smart To Start team also works with the county’s high school PRIDE teams to develop a series of short videos on the dangers of underage alcohol use. These videos are aired during homeroom in all of the county’s middle schools. In addition, the team works with the county’s middle school PRIDE teams to read an alcohol fact, from a list of 50, over the daily announcements to their peers.

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