Clinton - Youth Substance Abuse Prevention
For their capstone project, graduate students in Public Affairs worked with city officials to identify strategies to address drug misuse trends among youth in Clinton, Iowa.
There is a growing concern across the United States about the rise of drug use among youth, who are particularly vulnerable to addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), nearly 31% of 10th graders have used alcohol in the past year (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2022). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, e-cigarettes have become the most used nicotine product among youth (Surgeon General, 2019). Like many cities, Clinton, Iowa, is committed to reducing youth substance use. However, local data indicates that young people in Clinton are at higher risk of experimenting with substances, such as alcohol, vaping, and marijuana, which may lead to addiction and substance use disorders.
To help address this issue, graduate students in Public Affairs conducted a study and made recommendations on four focus areas: the location and density of liquor and vape stores in Clinton, increasing messaging geared toward reducing substance use among minors, increasing parental involvement in existing initiatives, and a best practices for preventing vaping in schools. Their process was guided by a comparative analysis of state and local data, stakeholder interviews, a literature review, and case study research.