Cheris Coggins of the Harper County Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol program confers with a colleague at a meeting in Topeka.

Working together to curb teenage alcohol use

Merging their efforts makes counties’ work more effective

Teenagers and alcohol can be a lethal combination, and few know this grim reality better than police and sheriff departments and district attorneys across Kansas.

Now, thanks to a $10.5 million grant, officials in 14 counties are working with the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, KU’s Workgroup for Community Health and Development, and the Greenbush Southeast Kansas Educational Service Center on practical ways to reduce and prevent underage drinking.

A program overseen by Cheris Coggins and Sunny Gates in Harper County is typical: Law enforcement and other officials in Anthony, Harper, and Attica signed a memorandum that guides their efforts to limit teenagers’ access to alcohol and promotes prosecution after arrests. They agreed to such practical steps as reducing illegal access to alcohol; they also meet with young people in monthly sessions to discuss practices and policies. Schools and churches have set up complementary programs.

Coggins is seeing positive responses. One participant told Coggins she “never would have guessed there might be as much collaboration and involvement from such a variety of people in the community.”


Map Teen drinking.eps

Participating counties & groups | View map »

Clay County: Clay Counts

Dickinson County: Quality of Life Coalition Inc.

Finney County: Finney County Community Health Coalition

Harper County: Harper County ICC

Kingman County: Kingman County Substance Abuse Prevention Group

Linn County: Linn County Children’s Coalition

Nemaha County: United 4 Youth

Osage County: Drug Free Osage County

Reno County: Reno County Communities That Care Coalition

Russell County: Russell County Community Partnership

Seward County: Liberal Area Coalition for Families

Shawnee County: Safe Streets Coalition

Sumner County: Sumner County Community Drug Action Team

Woodson County: Woodson County Interagency Coalition

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