About Stoughton OASIS

The OASIS coalition was established in 2004 by a small group of committed community partners who were committed to address youth substance abuse in Stoughton. Since 2004, OASIS has received numerous state and federal grants. Our membership has grown to incorporate many new partners, while maintaining a strong core of founding members. In October 2011, OASIS was granted the 2nd 5-year installment of a federal Drug Free Communities Grant. OASIS is hosted by the Stoughton Youth Commission, a program of the Town of Stoughton.

Our Mission

To work collaboratively to reduce youth substance abuse by:  reinforcing healthy community norms; decreasing youth access to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; and creating sustainable policy changes that will support healthy youth choices.


What puts Youth at Greater Risk for Substance Abuse?

OASIS identifies strategies that address reasearch-based risk and protective factors for youth substance use. Here are few of the more common risk and protective factors that put youth at risk for using drugs and alcohol.

Age of onset

Alcohol and drug use tends to begin in mid-to-late adolescence, though it is greater among individuals who experience early puberty (O’Connell et al, 2009). The earlier the age at which someone starts drinking the greater the risk that s/he will develop alcohol-related problems later in life. A delay in drinking until 20- to 21-years-old reduces the risk of developing alcohol-related problems (Chou et al, 1992).

Youth perception that parents approve of their alcohol or drug use

One of the most consistent risk factors for adolescent drinking is perceived parental approval (Donovan, 2004). Reported maternal care perception has been shown to be significantly lower among alcohol and those who use multiple drugs (Gerra et al, 2004).

Peers engaging in problem behavior

Associating with drug- or alcohol-using peers, or being rejected by peers, can create problem behaviors and influence attitudes and norms related to substance use (O’Connell et al, 2009). Exposure to peer problem behavior is correlated with increased alcohol and other substance use in the same month (Dishion et al, 2000). Those who drink in a social setting, or who have peers who do so, are more likely to abuse alcohol later in life (Beck et al, 1996).

Early and persistent problem behaviors, risk-taking, and high sensation-seeking

Early aggressiveness or antisocial behavior persisting into early adolescence predicts later adolescent aggressiveness, drug abuse, and alcohol problems (Hawkins et al, 1995).

Parental monitoring (or perception of monitoring)

Adolescents who report low parental monitoring are significantly more likely to use a variety of substances (Shillington et al, 2005). Positive parental style and close monitoring by parents are proven protective factors for adolescent’s use of alcohol and other drugs (Stewart, 2002).

Parent or older sibling drug use (or perception of use)

Familial alcohol-using behaviors are strong predictors of adolescent alcohol use (Birckmayer et al, 2004). In a 2003 study, alcohol initiation most often occurred during family gatherings. Moreover, a family history of alcoholism was a significant risk factor for the development of adolescent problem drinking (Warner et al, 2003).

Low perception of harm

Low perception of harm towards alcohol and drug use is a risk factor for use (Henry et al, 2005). Individuals with attitudes or values favorable to alcohol or drugs are more likely to initiate substance use (Hawkins et al, 1992).

Strong parent and adolescent relationship and family cohesion

Adolescents who have a close relationship with their parents are less likely to become alcohol involved (Birckmayer et al, 2004).

Youth access and availability

The majority of alcohol consumed by youth is obtained through social sources, such as parents and friends, at underage parties and at home (Birckmayer et al, 2004). Availability of alcohol or illegal drugs leads to increased use (Hawkins et al, 1995).

Poor school achievement and low school bonding

Adolescents who have a low commitment to school or do poorly are more likely to become alcohol involved (Birckmayer et al, 2004).

***from http://captus.samhsa.gov/access-resources/common-risk-and-protective-factors-alcohol-and-drug-use

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