Bumper stickers, billboards and newspaper, television and radio ads tell parents they are the most important factor in prevent drinking and drug use in their teens. Now garbage trucks have been enlisted to carry the message on magnetic signs to every curb in Springville this week.
The three trucks will act as mobile billboards with the messages: “Prevent Underage Drinking. The brain you save might be your kid’s,” “No underage drinking. Trust us, you’re going to need this,” and “No underage drinking. A healthy brain comes in handy.”
“Since we have our own sanitation trucks, we were able to incorporate this into our coalition’s campaign to raise awareness that parents are one of the highest risk factors for antisocial behavior in their children,” said Suzy Young, ASAP coordinator for Springville.
Art City Substance Abuse Prevention is a Springville coalition focused on substance abuse for their community. The Springville community board includes teachers, parents, law enforcement and city representatives. The key leader board members are Mayor W. W. Clyde, Councilmen Dean Olsen and Ben Jolley, Rod Oldroyd from Nebo School Board, Nebo Superintendent Rick Neilson, Springville Police Chief Scott Finlaysen, and Rep. Francis Gibson, R-Mapleton.
Springville is the first city in Utah County to use the national “Communities that Care” model ,which helps leaders assess their local needs and find ways to prevent problems like underage drinking and youth drug abuse.
“Parents may not know how important they are in setting clear boundaries and expectations. We have seen kids who got in trouble for underage drinking who were not sure how their parents felt about them using alcohol since they hadn’t talked about it,” Young said. “In Utah, binge drinking begins as early as sixth grade, and yet over 60 percent of Utah parents are unaware that sixth-graders are even drinking. Research also suggests that 45 percent of Utah kids who begin drinking before the age of 13 will become alcohol-dependent.”
The Springville sanitation truck signs are part of a statewide campaign with ParentsEmpowered.org, focused on eliminating underage drinking in Utah. Its primary goals are to educate parents about the dangers of underage drinking and provide them with proven skills to communicate with their children about remaining alcohol-free. More information is available at www.ParentsEmpowered.org.