LUK, Inc. Blog

TIPS Training for Our Servers: Why is this Crucial?

By Libby Baker, SAPC West Coordinator

For Substance Abuse Prevention Month, LUK is featuring a series of blogs specially discussing substance abuse prevention activities.

It doesn’t matter what bar you go into in the United States, I’m willing to bet that your bartender is going to be TIPS trained (Trainings for Intervention ProcedureS).

This training started in 1982 by Dr. Morris Chafetz. Dr. Chafetz helped found the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse and served as the first director. He developed this program to help bartenders and servers be more confident in their abilities and to prevent the patrons of restaurants from drinking in excess.

This training comes with many benefits for the business, staff, and community. For the businesses, TIPS Training helps with liability concerns, prevents property damage, and legal problems. Not only does TIPS training prevent insurance increases, but can qualify a business for insurance discounts. This training can also help with regulation and with making the establishment more welcoming for customers.The staff the benefit from increasing their skills, and learning how to protect themselves and their employer from legal action in the case of over-serving or serving alcohol to an underage person. Even better, TIPS training may even help increase tips by strengthening their professionalism!

Lastly, TIPS training helps the community by improving education surrounding underage drinking and over-indulgence. Well-trained servers help to decrease the chance of someone driving while intoxicated. This leads to fewer accidents and fewer deaths and injuries, meaning more people can travel safely.

The cost for TIPS training varies by location. However, LUK Prevention staff members qualified to provide TIPS training at a discount to organizations in Fitchburg/Leominster area.  Please call 800-579-0000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. For more information about TIPS, please visit For more information about LUK’s Substance Abuse Prevention Services, please visit, call 800-579-0000, or like the Prevention Facebook page at

Check back next week for information on the connection between mental health and substance use disorders.

All information taken from the site.

Compliance Checks

By Libby Baker, SAPC West Coordinator

For Substance Abuse Prevention Month, LUK is featuring a series of blogs specially discussing substance abuse prevention activities.

\Have you heard of Compliance Checks?

Compliance checks are tool used to prevent youth access to alcohol. It is one of the many techniques use by LUK to prevent underage substance use and keep our communities safe During a compliance check, an undercover youth (who is under 21 and under the supervision of law enforcement personnel) goes into a liquor store and tries to buy alcohol. We ask our youth not to carry any I.D. with them while they are doing their part in the compliance check, and here’s why:  if the store fails to ask for the I.D., the youth simply walks away, and the store is penalized. However, if the youth is asked to show identification, then we know that the establishment is doing its due diligence. Either way, the purchase is never completed.

Compliance checks are a fairly simple and effective tool; they have been shown to reduce crime and alcohol-related problems among youth. When the law is enforced by not selling alcohol to someone who is underage, we’re helping to prevent a variety of risky behaviors, including driving under the influence, violence, and unsafe sex, which can lead to sexually transmitted diseases or unintended pregnancy. Compliance checks also send a message – they remind people that preventing underage drinking takes a community effort.

Prior to performing compliance checks in the community, an announcement is publicized with a date range for the checks. This can allow for managers to review policies with staff, and helps to maintain good relationships between agencies (like LUK), and the stores. By working together, we can help keep our communities educated and safe. Remember: in keeping with the law, only adults aged 21 or over can purchase and consume alcohol.

Check back next week for information about TIPS (Training for Intervention ProcedureS)! 

For more information about prevention in your community, visit, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or follow us on Facebook at


Environmental Prevention of Underage Drinking


Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility

School's Out for Summer!

By: Kelsey Cadran

It’s that time of year again, trees and flowers are in full bloom, and in typical New England fashion, you’ve got a t-shirt on as soon as that thermostat rises above 50. Having four seasons means there’s only so much time to get out and enjoy the lazy hazy days of summer before it becomes apple picking season and the snowflakes start to fall again. What better way to make the best of the season then to get out and get moving!

There are so many opportunities in the area and all over New England. Social media outlets (like Facebook) have recently started being a great resource to find out what’s going on around you. Understandably, there are some choices that may have a cost associated, which could be a deal-breaker for some. Fortunately, there are low- to no-cost options! Since summer does not mean sunshine all the time, there are also a few indoor ideas too!

Low or No Cost Things to Do!

Visit a State Park (hiking, walking, swimming)

Museums (some can have more cost to them, be sure to check out the fees. Some are free!)

Splash Parks & Water Parks

Free Fun Fridays!

Kids Bowl Free!

Other Ideas you may find near you (check out your town calendar, local library, or social media for events and activities):

  • Outdoor Movie Nights
  • Band Concerts
  • Parades
  • Town festivals
  • Charity Events/Road Races
  • Craft Seminars

There are so many benefits to keeping our youth active. During the school year, structured plans driven by the school district are designed to keep kids engaged and active. It’s very important to maintain that engagement through the summer. Often as adults we may find ourselves quite busy, and it is easy to overlook the fact that during the summer, children are not as busy. The activities listed above can be helpful for you to keep your kids and family stimulated and active throughout school break! Summer camps and programs offered by local recreation departments can be a great opportunity as well for youth. Some costs associated with these options can be tough for families to swing, be sure to check into the programs to find out if they offer cost savings for low-income or half day options.

Wishing you a happy and healthy summer!

October is Prevention Month!

by Libby Baker, SAPC West Coordinator

Going to the doctor’s office for annual physical is considered preventative care. If the test results show high blood sugar but it isn’t quite yet diabetes, there are many options that that person can choose from to prevent diabetes from happening. These preventative measures are generally accepted throughout the world of medicine so the public sees it all as fact. These preventative measures for physical health and well-being are also usually covered (or at least partially covered) by the individual’s insurance. Take our insurance here at LUK, for example; we can apply for a gym membership reimbursement each year. It may not cover all of my $20 a month Planet Fitness membership, but it covers more than half.

But when it comes to substance use prevention, the options are less well known and also viewed more critically. One of these options is the use of scare tactics, which are generally not great long term solutions. This includes the drunk driver car accidents reenactments that come up around prom season to keep high school students from drinking and driving. Alternatively, there are the styles of substance use prevention that the CES program here at LUK uses. We use the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) that was developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which uses data to determine what services are needed in each community. This flexibility is helpful since what works for one community may not work for them all.

LUK's Substance Abuse Prevention Team the Gardner Community Action Team (GCAT), the Massachusetts Opioid Abuse Prevention Coalition (MOAPC), and East and West divisions of the Substance Abuse Prevention Collaborative (SAPC). SAPC East covers Fitchburg, Leominster, Clinton, Sterling, and Princeton, while SAPC West covers Gardner, Athol, Phillipston, Royalston, Templeton, and Westminster.

The SPF focuses in on the risk and protective factors in a community that could lead to a substance use disorder. The risk factors include early aggressive behavior, peer substance abuse, lack of parental involvement, and drug availability. Here at LUK, the SAPCs, MOAPC, and GCAT all work together to reduce the risk factors in a community and increase the protective factors. These protective factors include self-control, anti-drug policies, parental monitoring, and strong community programs that promote good choices and make it harder to access substances. These programs have taken several different forms over the years, including sticker shock campaigns to remind adults about social host and liability consequences. The sticker shock campaign involves youth putting stickers on the  paper bag that will contain alcohol when someone buys it from the participating liquor store that say “Furnishing alcohol to minors is illegal” along with the fine that comes along if a person is caught doing so. This also serves as a partnership with the youth, liquor stores, law enforcement, and community members.

Other outreach includes social norming campaigns, which remind youth that the norm is actually not to drink, which they may not realize, especially with the conflicting messages they receive from both peers and the media. School-based programs like Guiding Good Choices and All Stars work with parents and students to promote the protective factors in the community. LUK's Youth Development services also support a community's protective factors. These programs help develop self-esteem and leadership skills in youth, and work to reduce bullying and violence. 

For more information about LUK's Prevention Services, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., call 800-579-0000, visit, and follow LUK Prevention on Facebook at

For Youth Development information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., call 800-579-0000, or visit

October is Substance Abuse Prevention Month, and we will be featuring a weekly post about various aspects of Prevention. Check back next week for information on why Compliance Checks are so important in your community! 

Let It Go

By Amy Moran

I often find myself watching my soon to be 3 year old daughter and wishing that I was 3 years old again.  To her, life is simple.  She finds pleasure in small things and has a wonderful imagination.  She is never embarrassed to show off her latest dance move or belt it out to “Let it Go.”  Life would be much easier for our profession, if life was so carefree.  We go out of our way everyday to help children and families.  The families we serve do not have simple lives and we often become emotionally drained working so hard to help our clients meet their needs, and experience some satisfaction in their lives.  The nature of the work can be emotionally exhausting. We often forget to take care of ourselves and appreciate the small things in our own personal lives.

I am often the biggest offender of neglecting my own self care, getting wrapped up in helping my clients meet their needs, and meeting my own family obligations.  I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “You can’t help others, unless you help yourself.”  I believe this statement to be true and believe that my soon to be 3 year old daughter is the best helper, because she is not bothered by the small things, and knows how to “Let it Go.”  I want to take this opportunity to give myself and fellow human service providers permission to enjoy the small things, and when life get stressful, let the small things go.

When you are your wits end and have had a stressful day or week, I encourage you to release your inner child. “Learn to play again. Jump on a trampoline. Go rollerblading. Blow bubbles. Take a walk on some stilts. Spend 10 minutes hula-hooping. Do what you really enjoy, not what you think you should do. And don't play to win at all costs, or impress bystanders. Your only goal should be to let loose and have fun.” (Forget Yoga - Try One of These Quirky Stress-Busters)

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