Substance Abuse Prevention
A key initiative of the FRN has been the reduction of substance abuse. In this effort the FRN has been a leading member and long-term partner of the Marshall County Anti-Drug Coalition (MCADC). To this end the FRN has provided sub- stance abuse prevention education to nearly 1,000 students and trained all of Marshall County's counselors and health teachers in the Too Good for Drugs and Too Good for Violence curricula. Additionally, the MCADC and the MCFRN took the lead in informing all pharmacists in Marshall County of the WV Board of Pharmacy's Controlled Substance Database – which is a valuable tool in deterring abuse by keeping a detailed record of every controlled substance prescription in the state. The letters drafted by the MCFRN in this effort have been subsequently duplicated by coalitions around West Virginia and requested by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) to be used nationally as a template for letters in other states.
Outside of simply educating our community, the MCFRN has had direct success in improving legislation and enforcement regarding underage substance abuse. In terms of enforcement, over one year the MCADC and the MCFRN documented an 80% decrease in the availability of alcohol to minors at retail locations due to Compliance Check and Training for Intervention ProcedureS (TIPS) programs. In 2008, 93.75% of Marshall County merchants sold alcohol to an underage buyer during the MCADC's Compliance Check program. Those who made the illegal sales were provided with the TIPS responsible beverage seller and server training. The following year only 12.62% of Marshall County merchants made an underage alcohol sale. To date, retailers receiving the training have not been ticketed for selling to underage youth during subsequent compliance checks. This success led the MCFRN to make TIPS training also available in neighboring Ohio and Wetzel counties.
Drug Free Communities
The FRN has worked closely with the Marshall County Anti-Drug Coalition to develop a plan designed to reduce tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana abuse among all Marshall County youth. This plan is funded by the Federal Drug Free Communities Grant. The goals of the program are to:
1. Promote collaboration among Marshall County's nonprofit agencies, and Federal, State, and local governments to support the efforts of the Marshall County Anti-Drug Coalition to prevent and reduce substance abuse among youth.
2. Reduce substance abuse among youth in Marshall County, and, over time, among adults.
To achieve these goals, the Coalition will implement the following strategies:
• Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol (CMCA)– a community-driven program to address change in alcohol policy.
• A mass media campaign designed to combat underage drinking.
• Tobacco merchant education
• Targeted enforcement of marijuana laws
• Mass media campaign designed to increase communication between youth and parents/caring adults about drug use
• Coalition capacity development – to strengthen the coalition.
United in Prevention
The FRN has been committed to substance abuse prevention in Marshall County and from 2010 - 2012 the FRN expanded its efforts on a regional level with a project called United in Prevention (UP Project). UP Project worked to fight substance abuse in sixteen counties in WV, including; Brooke, Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Hancock, Harrison, Marion, Marshall, Monongalia, Ohio, Pleasants, Ritchie, Tyler, Wetzel, Wirt, and Wood counties.
United in Prevention addressed substance abuse in the areas of underage drinking, youth tobacco use, and prescription drug abuse for both youth and adults. The FRN worked with each county’s substance abuse prevention coalition to provide learning opportunities on three prevention strategies:
- Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol – a community-driven program to address change in alcohol policy.
- A prescription drug abuse prevention media campaign designed to reduce availability of prescription drugs through proper drug disposal and storage.
- Tobacco merchant education
The FRN received $340,000 from the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant to fund United in Prevention. Each county received a sub-grant from the FRN to carry out prevention efforts in their communities.
Definitions of Strategies:
Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol (CMCA) is an evidence-based social marketing program that utilizes community organizing strategies designed to reduce adolescent access to alcohol by changing community policies and practices.
Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Campaign: The "Safe Storage. Smart Disposal." Campaign is designed to educate the community on proper storage and disposal of prescription drugs. There are two messages presented in the campaign: take-back events and responsible at home storage and disposal of prescription drugs.
To learn more about Safe Storage. Smart Disposal. at home, click here.
Click here for the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Event on October 29th.
Tobacco merchant education is used to help enforce the WV State Code that prohibits the sale of tobacco products to youth under the age of 18. To assist clerks, store owners, and corporations with compliance, retailer education materials are developed and sent to retailers within the community.