(New Philadelphia, Ohio) – The Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition works to offer more understanding surrounding local prevention efforts.
This informational series is brought to you by the Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition.
Prevention initiatives involve all sectors of a community coming together to build a coalition and comprehensive strategies designed to reduce risk factors for substance misuse and addiction. Efforts also involve counterbalances to those strategies with protective factors such as community engagement and healthy activities.
The success of local prevention efforts is based heavily on individual community members, businesses, organizations, and agencies coming together in a common goal to protect local youth. Strategies can vary based on the unique needs of individual communities and may include things such as:
- Changing social norms through awareness campaigns.
- Offering consistent, research-based education to people of all ages.
- Sharing information with the community regarding the signs of substance misuse and addiction.
- Taking an active role in policy and legislation changes and implementation.
- Working closely with community partners to ensure access to evidence-based research and treatment.
The overall goal of prevention efforts through the Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition is to build communities that protect adolescents from substance use. Initiatives tend to focus on improving places where young people spend the majority of their time such as schools, libraries, and public parks. The Tuscarawas County ADC focuses prevention initiatives on four primary substances that, according to research, young people tend to experiment with first. These substances include marijuana, prescription drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. The coalition is made up of sub-committees with the sole purpose of focusing on consistent prevention and education efforts in each of these areas.
Additionally, the coalition prioritizes partnerships across sectors including health, faith, policy, education, and others. Efforts help achieve overall community health. Researchers suggest that prevention efforts have the ability to save the U.S. billions of dollars each year. More importantly, prevention saves lives.