Risk & Protective Factors

A group of adults

To meet our goal of reducing negative outcomes associated with alcohol and drug abuse, we must take a look at risk and protective factors in our community. Risk factors put youth at greater risk for substance use, protective factors reduce that risk.

The more protective factors our young adults and youth have, the better.  Here are examples of risk and protective factors that can affect substance abuse:

Risk & Protective Factors

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In 2008, over 120 key stakeholder and community members within the Greater Sullivan County region convened to prioritize and select the region’s primary risk factors and contributing factors.  It was determined that we need to increase these five factors to prevent substance abuse:

  • Awareness of risks
  • Ability to recognize and support those at risk
  • Community focus on prevention
  • Parent and caregiver guidance
  • Understanding and personal values and commitment to the law

Some important facts we discovered through our research:

  • 50% of prisoners reported their parents used drugs and alcohol
  • 65% of young adults think their peers typically drink 5+ drinks at parties
  • 63% of young adults think it unlikely to be arrested for giving alcohol to anyone under age
  • 19% are likely to alert police if a party served underaged youth alcohol although 90% know it’s illegal

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