How We Know

Before we act, we gather information and listen to our community.

SAFE’s first priority is understanding the issues around substance abuse in our community before identifying and implementing research-based best practices to address those issues. How do we know what needs to be addressed? SAFE’s initiatives are developed in response to issues identified through youth survey data, statistical data and community input. The 2014 youth survey was administered in February to randomly selected classrooms in grades 8, 10 and 12 in all Chesterfield middle and high schools. About one-third of the classes in these three grades were selected to participate.

2016 Prevention Needs Survey SAFE Inc Profile Report

Youth Surveys

The Community Youth Survey is a critical tool for providing information about the attitudes and behaviors of our young people. Administered every two years since November 2005 to a representative sample of youths in grades 8, 10 and 12, the survey provides a means to measure usage rates, perceptions about use and emerging trends.

SAFE partners with Chesterfield County Public Schools to administer the survey and analyzes and publicizes survey results, including highlights of the survey.

SAFE has also collected additional information about alcohol use from high school students through informal questionnaires. This information helps the coalition better understand when and where teens are drinking and where they obtain alcohol.

Community Input

SAFE also gathers input from the community through community forums, focus groups, surveys and interviews to help understand community concerns and issues.

Statistics

In addition to survey information, SAFE uses statistical data kept by a variety of public agencies to help determine its areas of focus.

Data relating to youth substance use, such as school disciplinary actions, juvenile arrests, and alcohol-related injuries and fatalities are contained in the Chesterfield County Youth and Family Indicators Report, published annually by the Chesterfield County Department of Youth Planning and Development.

Listed below are links to state and national alcohol and drug statistics:

Crime in Virginia
The Virginia State Police provides statewide and local statistics relating to alcohol and other drug violations as part of its annual Crime in Virginia report.

Monitoring the Future
The Monitoring the Future survey is the nation’s longest running survey of middle and high school student tobacco, alcohol and other drug use, administered since 1975.

PRIDE (Parents Resource Information for Drug Education)
PRIDE surveys of students in grades 6, 8,10, and 12 relating to alcohol and drug use have been conducted since 1982.

National Household Survey on Drug Abuse
The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse is an annual survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This survey has been the primary source of estimates of the prevalence and incidence of illicit drug, alcohol, and tobacco use in the population ages 12 years and older since 1971.