April was Alcohol Awareness Month and we, of course, want to feature organizations that deal with driver safety on the road. So we set out to find more out about SADD, which stands for Students Against Destructive Decisions.
What is SADD?
SADD is a national organization whose mission is “to provide students with the best prevention tools possible to deal with the issues of underage drinking, other drug use, risky and impaired driving, and other destructive decisions.”
SADD was founded in 1981 and is now the nation’s dominant peer-to-peer youth prevention organization. According to their website they have 350,000 students actively participating in SADD chapters. The organization started as Students Against Drunk Driving, and in 1997 they expanded their mission to include the broader focus of destructive decisions. SADD has thousands of chapters in middles schools, high schools, and colleges. In addition to state events organized by state chapters, they have regional and national events including a 2011 National Conference this June in Chicago, Illinois.
SADD’s approach involves young people delivering messages to their peers through school and community-wide activities and campaigns responsive to the needs of their particular locations. This includes peer-led classes and theme-focused forums, teen workshops, conferences and rallies, prevention education and leadership training, and awareness-raising activities and legislative work. Having kids lead and teach one another changes the dynamic of the program. Student leaders understand the pressures their peers face when it comes to alcohol, drugs and other destructive choices, and can share empathy, experience, and accountability with one another.
The organization still focuses on risky and impaired youth driving. They educate not only about drunk driving, but also distracted driving, which is a growing issue with youths and cell phone use, and traffic safety.
Where Can I Learn More About SADD?
SADD has a wonderful website where you can find out more about their mission, history, and current events. You can follow the links to connect to SADD through Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and YouTube. You can also sign up for their newsletter, find out how to connect with and/or start a local chapter, or make a donation. SADD has contests, offers college scholarships, handbooks, and even has a SADD store. Visit their website (http://www.sadd.org/) for more information.