By Christy Smith
So how does the Unicoi County Prevention Coalition prevent substance abuse and create change within the community?
The Coalition partners with many organizations and businesses within the community to educate youth and adults on substance abuse issues. The Coalition follows CADCA’s (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America) seven strategies to affect community change.
• We provide information on Unicoi County youth data through student billboard and radio ad campaigns. We present on addiction and the brain at Unicoi County middle school and high school as well on alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs.
• We train the community on Naloxone and offer Triple P Parenting classes which is an evidence-based program for parents and youth.
• We provide support at Telamon on substance abuse education and offer a recovery support group at our office.
• We enhance access to support groups and people in recovery through the regional Lifeline program.
• We provide “Parents Who Host Lost the Most” glass clings to area alcohol outlets. If parents provide alcohol to youth they can be charged under the Tennessee Social Host Law.
• We aided the Unicoi County Health Department in changing tobacco policies at city parks and trails.
These are some strategies that the Coalition uses in the community. We also provide free prescription lockboxes to anyone taking medications. Clinchfield Drug Co., Roller Pharmacy, Unicoi County Insurance Company, Urgent Care of Erwin, Neighborhood Service Center, Unicoi Medical Associates, and the office are places to pick up a lockbox.
Next month, we will talk about specific substance abuse issues among youth and provide tips for parents on preventing substance abuse. Until then, stay safe and healthy.